Olive Rukundo, a Banana farmer in Magambo village says that the cooperative is an eye-opener to the farmers on how to benefit more from their produce. She says that they have now an opportunity to negotiate better prices for their bananas and now sell the bananas in Kilograms, which gives them more money.
farmers and traders in Rubirizi district have formed a cooperative Society to boost
their income. The idea to form Bunyaruguru
Tooke Farmer’s cooperative Society limited was born during the peak of the
nationwide lockdown, which severely affected banana prices.
An average bunch
of bananas dropped to between Shillings 1000 and 3000 on the farm and between
Shillings 4000 and 6000 in the market.
As a result,
Banana farmers and traders mainly comprising women in Bushonga Sub County
decided to form Bunyaruguru Tooke Farmer’s cooperative Society limited to boost
A group of men have since embraced the cooperatives bringing
the total number of subscribers to 150.
Rukundo, a Banana farmer in Magambo village says that the cooperative is an
eye-opener to the farmers on how to benefit more from their produce. She says
that they have now an opportunity to negotiate better prices for their bananas
and now sell the bananas in Kilograms, which gives them more money.
Rukundo says that the Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development
factory had earlier asked them if they could collect over 14 tons of Matooke,
which they failed to do for so many years but now raise 24 tons through the cooperative.
//Cue in: “ekatuhereza omuhanda gwo…
…nokurenzya nituza kurenzya,”//
Boonabana, a resident of Bushonga says that the price of banana has increased
from Shillings 2000 to 12,000 for a small bunch and Shillings 5000 to Shillings
25000 for a large bunch of bananas. She disclosed that she previously used to
carry bananas to the market for a distance of between 5-10 kilometers. Boonabana, however, the
establishment of the cooperative has saved her from incurring transport
costs because it has set up buying centers.
//Cue in: “cooperative banana bunyaruguru…
Cue out: …turiyo nituza omumaisho.”//
Kelemensia Kyokunda, District Bushonga sub-county councillor and Rubiziri
District Community-Based Services Secretary, says that he joined the cooperative
as a leader to serve as an example to other women that they need to work hard
despite their status.
//Cue in: “ahakuba ekabanza yatushomesa…
…batukuratire tubabere amaisho.”//
Felix Begumisa Kyabashashaki, a resident of Bugaaya parish member, says the
cooperative has taught them new methods of growing Matooke and how to add value
to their produce. He says the value addition such as producing wine from the
bananas has increased their household incomes.
//Cue in: “program ei baturetire…
Cue out: …twatandika kuheisa wine.”//
Ben Bataringaya, the Chairperson of Bunyaruguru Tooke Farmer’s Cooperative
Society, says that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic affected matooke prices,
which undermined the farmer’s morale. He says identifying market and boosting
the morale of women towards the Matooke business were the key drivers for forming
Deo Abimpe, the Rubirizi District Assistant Commercial Officer
says that the collective sale of Matooke by the farmers made it possible for
them to form a partnership with the Presidential Initiative on Banana
Industrial Development. He says it has brought a sigh of relief to both farmers
and banana traders in Rubirizi district. Cooperatives give farmers the power to
negotiate for better prices and inputs.
According to the Ministry of trade and cooperatives statics as of February
2020, the cooperative movement in Uganda comprised 21,346 registered
cooperative societies with an estimated 5.6 million members.