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Increased cotton prices excite farmers in Acholi

GULU – Cotton farmers under West Acholi Cooperative Union Limited are excited about increased cotton prices from Shs1,500, last year to Shs 2700, this year.

West Acholi Cooperative Union Limited, is a farmer based cooperative union established in1960.

The Union has 9,300 members with 60 primary cooperatives in the districts of Amuru, Nwoya, Gulu and Omoro.

Each primary cooperative has between 60-150 members.

The cooperative majorly grows cotton, soya, maize, groundnuts

According to the General Manager, West Acholi Cooperative Union, (WACU), Bob Albert Ogen, cotton prices internationally have gone high compared to the previous years and we expect more farmers to engage in cotton farming.

“At the moment, the production is low internationally that is why the prices have gone high,” he said.

“China and India have been hit harder by Covid-19, yet they are the largest producers of cotton; limiting their activities in cotton growing that is why prices have gone high,” he said.

The demand is high but production is low worldwide, according to Ogen’s observation.

We anticipate more cotton acreages next year. As leaders we are on the ground mobilizing farmers.

Cotton takes five months to mature and most farmers in West Acholi grow between one to three acres.

Jackson Okwera, a cotton farmer also Chairperson Puranga Gem Cooperative Society said, the price increment has motivated more farmers to revive cotton growing.

“Some farmers had abandoned the crop arguing that it was labor intensive yet the returns are little,” he said.

Members are eager to plant on a large-scale next year, looking at the price increment.

He however warned the farmers on planting only cotton because of its price increment, adding that food security is key in having stable families.

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