Cooperatives & Communities

Minister Kwiyucwiny urges cooperatives to stabilise market prices 

OTUKE-Cooperatives in northern Uganda have a role to play in stabilising market prices in the region by releasing a given quantity of the stored commodities to the market whenever prices seem to go up, according to State Minister for Northern Uganda, Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny.

According to experts, price stability is a situation in which prices in an economy like Uganda do not change much overtime. “Price stability would mean that an economy would not experience inflation or deflation,” experts say.

Minister Kwiyucwiny made the remarks recently while speaking to cooperatives leaders in Otuke district where she handed over storage facilities to Acan Kwete Farmers’ Co-operative Society in Olilim town council.

She said apart from eliminating middlemen who are exploitative, cooperative societies in the north can buy commodities from farmers in bulk, store and release the commodities to the market at reasonable prices.

“The challenge I hear about is that the market prices fluctuate during harvest time. However, cooperatives can buy in bulk, store, and release the produce to the market whenever there is low supply,” she said, adding that this would stabilise prices in the market.

The minister advised the cooperatives after Alex Otim, the Otuke district principal assistant secretary, disclosed that much as government continues to build new storage facilities in the district, those built earlier are empty.

For instance, he said, three stores located in the sub-counties of Okwang, Adwari, and Otuke council, respectively are without any stored commodities, much as they are run by the farmers’ associations.

“Because of corruption and bad leadership, these storage facilities are now dormant much as they have rice hullers and maize mills,” he said.

Kwiyucwiny urged people to embrace and own government programmes, especially those aimed at boosting production and alleviating household poverty such as the Parish Development Model [PDM], Operation Wealth Creation [OWC], and Emyooga Programme, among several others.

She advised people in Otuke district to produce commodities like maize on a large scale so that storage facilities can become active, adding that government would continue providing machines for value addition.

“We don’t want to go to Kampala to look first-class posho because we can make it from here when we work hard,” she said.

Cooperatives are supposed to play a vital role in meeting the demand of consumers to increase production and provide goods at reasonable price compared to open market, experts say.

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