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Soroti City farmers trained on how to form marketing associations

SOROTI, April 20, 2024 – In a bid to boost collective marketing of produce, and avoid middlemen, farmers in Soroti City have been trained to form marketing associations.

The training of the farmers is a partnership between Soroti Catholic Diocese Integrated Development Organization [SOCADIDO], a development arm of the Soroti Catholic Diocese, and Ateker Development Forum, a local non-government organisation.

In an interview with this reporter, Steven Acheger, Project Coordinator SOCADIDO said a total of 20 farmers from the two divisions of Soroti City were selected for the training under a project run by Ateker Development Foundation.

“We want to form these marketing associations so that farmers can gain knowledge to market their own produce without involving the middlemen,” Acheger said.

Acheger said once farmers in Soroti City form their own produce marketing associations, they will be able to open up bulking centers which facilitate collective marketing of the farm produce.

According to George William Tukei, Soroti City Commercial Officer, much as farmers in the city endeavour to produce on commercial basis, they find themselves grappling with market access.

“We have realized that the farmers are producing for both consumption and sale, unfortunately the issue of market is a very big dilemma in the city,” he said.

He said the selected farmers were taken through various aspects in management, finances, leadership, membership, administrative structures.

“We hope that this will help them to improve their incomes to sustain their livelihoods,” he added.

He also said through marketing associations farmers will be able to eliminate middlemen who cheat them. “Through this we shall be able to kick out middlemen who cheat out farmers,” Tukei said.

Tukei advised farmers to work together and avoid cliques that tend to bring misunderstandings.

He further encouraged farmers to also form SACCOs, saying this would enable them save and get loans.

On her part, Christine Namanda, a resident of Amen A, West Division who grows both sorghum and groundnuts was hopeful she will benefit from the local marketing associations.

“Coming together like this will help us market our produce and I hope it will improve on our livelihoods,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tom Amolo, another farmer who stressed the importance of collective marketing, urged fellow farmers not to rush selling their produce if they don’t want to be cheated by the middlemen.

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