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Produce prices fall as harvest peaks in Pader



The prices of leading food crops have gone down in Pader district as harvest season peaks.

Mark Ojok, a farmer based in Pagwari village Pader town council, attributed the dramatic fall of prices to dominance by middlemen and absence of farmers’ cooperatives that could have helped them set stable prices.

He said that the most affected produce are maize, soybeans and sunflower that have all seen price reduction from before the Independence Day festivities.

Ojok disclosed that before the October 9, national fete, they sold soybeans at sh2,500 a kilo, that has dropped to sh1,500, the price of maize has dropped from sh1,700 a kilo to sh1,300 while sunflower is sold at sh1,300 per kilo down from sh1,500.

Seydou Adolatona Opoke, the Pader district Agricultural officer, advised the farmers to get united and form cooperative organisations that will help them to do joint marketing and sourcing of inputs.

Opoke cautioned that unless the farmers stop selling to middlemen who move door-to-door to buy produce at farmgate prices, the farmers will continue to fall prey to unstable price.

He assured the farmers in Pader district that his office will be working tirelessly to move them from subsistence farming to commercial farming which will improve their financial status and livelihoods.

He said the district production staff are ready to help farmers who are in groups through soil testing for suitability for particular seeds to avoid getting low yields.

However Chief John Peko Lugai II of Pa luo who doubles as chairperson of traditional chiefs in Pader district said that people in Pader and entire Acholi are suffering because they abandoned the use of granaries.

Chief John Peko Lugai II of Pa luo

He explained that granaries could have helped the people for storage of foodstuff during harvest which could be sold during off season when prices go up.

Chief Lugai II noted that farming is the major source of living to Acholi because They are blessed with fertile land.

He appeal to farmers to form associations right from village level to avoid exploitation and he encourage Acholi to reunite and reintroduce granaries at their home.

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