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.
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.