Pader, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Soybean farmers in Pader district are crying foul following a drastic drop in the price. A kilogram of soybean now costs Shillings 700 down from Shillings 3000.
Sabina Alimo, a peasant farmer in Golo parish in Latanya sub county says it is a real trying moment for them. He says farmers have lost hope because of the poor price saying some of them may opt for other crops in the next season.
Alimo says some farmers borrowed colossal sums of money to cultivate soybeans with anticipation that oil seed companies would buy from them but they are headed for serious trouble since they won’t be able to service their loans.
Henry Okeny, another soybean farmer from Ogago in Pajule sub county says he secured an agricultural loan of Shillings 2 million to cultivate his 10 acre garden of soybeans with expectations of getting good returns.
He however says the current market price has left them counting losses.
Okeny says the fast shrinking soya bean price has offered room to middle men who are now flooding the villages to buy cheaply from farmers. He wants government to intervene and subsidize the price and protect farmers from exploitation.
Pader District Agricultural Officer Peter Odongkara, says one of the factors contributing to low prices of farm produce is the fact that the crops performed very well this season due to intensive cultivation by farmers during the COVID-19 lockdown and favorable weather.
He advised the farmers to make good use of bulking stores in different sub-counties in their areas to hoard their produce and sell it later when prices improve.
Odongkara says a section of farmers are opposed to bulking their farm produce with claims that hoarding soybean for long makes it lose weight and thereby negatively affects their profits.