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Farmers in Kyotera demand heightened security to curb vanilla thefts

Vanilla growing in Uganda. Courtesy photo

Kyotera, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Farmers Kyotera district are demanding for a special security consideration to curb the rampant theft of vanilla in the area.

Dozens of vanilla farmers in the sub-counties of Kasasa, Kakuuto, Nabisaga and Kabira are decrying the high rate at which they are losing farm yields to thieves who raid their plantations at night.

Peter Ssembuusi, the LCI Chairperson for Kimukunda A in Kasasa sub county who is one of the affected farmers says the thieves have overpowered the village defence mechanism which has necessitated having a special deployment directly by the district security team to protect the plantations.

He explains some farmers have been hiring private security guards to secure their plantations but this approach has also proved not to be sustainable to many farmers due to the associated costs.

Ssembuusi says that the District Security Committee should work out a comprehensive plan of securing all vanilla plantations in the area.

Charles Ssemanda, another farmer at Kalungi Village in Kakuuto sub county says many of the farmers are spending nights in their plantations exposing them to thieves.

Ssemanda wants the district security team to assign a special team of armed personnel that can help to carry out night patrols in plantations.

He says that the thieves are enticed by the high prices of vanilla which gives them the courage to steal at any cost, arguing the situation requires having a strong response security team that can ably confront them.

A kilogram of vanilla beans is selling between 250,000 to 270,000 shillings according to pricing guide at the Uganda Vanilla Growers and Exporters’ Association-UVGEA.

Meanwhile, Timothy Mbaziira the Kasasa sub county chairperson says that the sub-county committee has taken note of the concerns, however adding that they engaging the Resident District Commissioner and Police to towards forging a sustainable solution to the problem.



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