KWANIA – Farmers in Kwania have agreed a deal that effectively leaps sorghum to the front-of-the-line of crops grown on a large scale in the northern district.
Several farmers signed up to start sorghum growing on an estimated 60,000 acres of land when the rains start in August 2021.
The agreement was signed on May 24 by Washington Onyum, the general secretary of Kwania District Farmers’ Cooperatives and Global Educational Network in Uganda (GENU) on behalf of 518 members from the sub counties of Inomo, Abongomola, Aduku, Nambieso and Chawente.
The cooperatives and GENU are partnering with Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) and KCB Bank, to promote the growing of sorghum.
GENU is a non-governmental organization promoting sorghum growing in the northern districts of Lira, Dokolo, Alebtong, Otuke, Kole, Kwania, Lamwo, Kitgum, and Pader – largely to alleviate household poverty.
The two year project will see GENU supply over 500 metric tons of quality seeds to Kwania District cooperatives at subsidized prices and later buy at farm gate prices.
Onyum described the move as a big boost to farmers in the district.
“Farmers who are members of the cooperative will harvest their produce, which is bulked and sold to UBL at Shs 1, 500 per kilogram and once the money is deposited on the union account, it will be distributed to farmers and the cooperative gets a commission.” he said.
He urged the youth to join the venture.
Bongomin Zorish Lander, the Executive Director of GENU, said most sorghum farmers in northern Uganda have been growing the local variety mainly for home consumption.
“Most farmers growing sorghum in northern Uganda have been growing the local variety mainly for home consumption. However, with the increased market demand from the brewing industries, farmers should shift to growing hybrid varieties, which are suitable for brewing beer.” he said.
Mike Gulu, an excited member of Kwania District Farmers’ Cooperative, said without modern agricultural equipment like tractors, tarpaulins, most farmers might not reap big profits.
“In 2018 we ventured into growing crops such as rice but it was not profitable, we decided to venture into drying chili for export but it did not work out due to lack of modern agricultural equipment. Now that we have agreed to venture into sorghum, the organization should address the challenge of agricultural equipment,” he said.
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