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Maize Price Falling, But Farmers Still Safe – Experts

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By Samuel Balagàdde 

By Friday morning in  Kisenyi, downtown Kampala, one of the city’s leading maize grain collecting centres, the price had dropped to sh1,150/- per kilogramme.

The drop in prices for maize grains had  had a multiplier  effect  on the prices for it’s byproducts. 

Edwards Tatwale, a maize dealer and miller under  Mukwano Maize Flour  company in Kisenyi, said the prices for maize and its by byproducts started dwindling towards the beginning of this year.

He said this was expected due to good harvests across the country attributed to the rain season that covered a substantial number of maize growing regions.

However, Tatwale said farmers should desist from  selling raw maize as this deprives them from earning more from their sweat.

He also said those there are unscrupulous farmers who  cut premaute maize and force it dry in a bit to tap into good prices  as this compromised quality .

He said prices for maize  could have dropped much more  than where they are now if  dealers were not exporting it to Kenya .

The price for maize flour has also gone down to an average of sh120,000 per 50kg bag from an average of sh150,000 in the recent past.

Maize bran has also drop to an average sh400 per kiilogramme from an average of sh800 in the recent past .

The drastic drop in prices for maize bran is partly attributed to limited number of poultry farmers as many mainly those who keeping  layers dropped out of business due high cost of feeds  yet the prices for eggs remains low.

Selling maize raw has affected the price, experts say. Photos by Samuel Balagàdde 

Solomon Male, the general Secretary for Uganda National Poultry Famers Network, said many  poultry farmers dropped out businesses due to mega financial liabilities .

“There are those who sold off their birds when they  had justed laying eggs  while others   were due to lay eggs .Keeping 500 layer birds requires an an investment of not less than sh7m  to the stage of laying eggs,” Male said.

He said the drop in price of maize bran which is the major ingredient for maize feeds should not  incite  the public to invest in poultry as there are  other challanges in the industry .

Chris Kaijuka, the chairman for the Grain Council of Uganda, said the drop in price of maize  should not worry farmers as they still operate at a profit.

He said the unit cost for production of a kilogramme of maize is at an average of sh450 when you have summed up all the expenses including the seeds, fertilisers, labour and others .

“Selling a kilogramme of  maize grain at an average of sh800, a farmer still break even though some are used  the abnormal prices that were brought about by supply gap due to recent dry spell that affected many farmers,” Kaijuka said.

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