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Cotton farmers decry infiltration of fake bank notes

FILE PHOTO: Uganda currency notes

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Cotton farmers in Nebbi district are losing huge sums of money to unscrupulous mobile cotton buyers using counterfeit currency notes. The cotton farmers argue that although the mobile cotton buyers pay better prices for their produce, many of them use counterfeit currency notes.

John Omirambe, a cotton farmer in Acer in Ndhew Sub County Nebbi district is one of the victims of the counterfeit currency. According to Omirambe, he sold a ton of cotton to a mobile buyer on Friday last week for Shillings 2.6 million. He however, says Shillings 1.2 million of the Shillings 2.6 million were fake notes.

“I have never imagined experiencing this kind of thing in my life before. My cotton of 1.2 million Shillings was taken just like that by someone I have always sold my cotton to every season” Omirambe said in an interview on Tuesday. He called on government to reign on cotton buyers and any player in the value chain with intentions of cheating farmers.

Jimmy Pirwoth, another cotton farmer from Atego Sub County in Nebbi district, says he was duped by a mobile buyer early this month to sell his 500kg of cotton at a much higher price on credit. He says the buyer paid him after a struggle only to realize that half of the money was counterfeit.

James Rwothongeyo, the West Nile Regional Manager Cotton Development Organization-CDO advises farmers to desist from selling their harvest to mobile buyers because of the proliferation of the counterfeit currency and fake weighing scales.

Vicky Emmanuel Onyai, a private Agricultural Consultant blames government through the Cotton Development Organization for failing to enforce the cotton price, which has left farmers to fall prey to notorious buyers.

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