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Soya Bean Farmers In Omoro Count Losses Due to Middlemen :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Soya Bean Farmers In Omoro Count Losses Due to Middlemen

Justine Okeny, a farmer in Loyo Ajonga village in Lakwaya Sub-county, says he harvested 1,200 kilograms of soya beans from his two-acre garden but earned far less money than he had anticipated.
22 Aug 2022 17:49
A basinful of Soya beans for sale in the market. A kilograme is being sold at 2,500 shillings. Julius Ocungi

Audio 4

An influx of middlemen in Omoro district targeting soya beans has resulted in a drastic drop in the price of the cereals, according to local farmers. Close to 80 percent of farmers in the district reportedly planted soya beans this season owing to the lucrative market. 

But the farmers who have since harvested their crops for sale are crying foul about the low prices in the market. Justine Okeny, a farmer in Loyo Ajonga village in Lakwaya Sub-county, says he harvested 1,200 kilograms of soya beans from his two-acre garden but earned far less money than he had anticipated.

Okeny says as opposed to factories and companies that would approach farmers directly to buy soya beans in the district in the past, the market has this time been flooded with middlemen who are cheating them. He notes that due to the lack of market, he was forced to sell his harvest to a middle man at Shillings 2,200 earning him only Shillings 2.6 million instead of Shillings 3 million if he was able to sell at 2,500 shillings.  

Luo

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Cue out:…room bedo maber.”//

James Opiyo, another farmer and Chairperson of Orapwoyo Sub-county shares the same concern about price fluctuation due to the influx of middlemen in the villages. Opiyo says he planted soya beans on a two-acre piece of land and harvested 600 kilograms but notes that he is still stuck with the crop since the prices are not stable. According to Opiyo, the middlemen are also cheating farmers in the villages with fake weighing scales, which leaves farmers in losses since they sell more quantities for less payment.

Luo

//cue in: “kilo pe tiye…

Cue out:…I ot yat.”//

Godfrey Jomo Oyet, the Omoro District Production Officer acknowledges that farmers are selling their produces cheaply to middlemen due to varied pressing needs. Oyet says many farmers lost their crops due to the harsh weather, adding that those who planted soya beans that resisted the weather are selling them away to compensate for their losses.

“Most of our farmers are selling not because they don’t want to bulk but because of the basic need that is pressing them. Things kike beans and maize failed because of the prolonged drought, and if you don’t have something to eat, sincerely you may not think of tomorrow, so you sell,” says Oyet.

He however notes that as leaders, they are advising the farmers to join cooperative societies and bulk their crops in stores to avoid exploitation by middlemen and sell at appropriate times when prices are fair. Oyet says mindset change of farmers on bulking will be key in regulating exploitation by middlemen, arguing that they will be directly in charge of selling their crops.

//cue in: “The mindset of…

Cue out:…through several series.”//

Oyet says middlemen are buying soya beans cheaply from farmers between Shillings 1,000 and 1,500 only.  Andrew Onyuk, the Omoro Resident District Commissioner, says they are working on streamlining markets for soya bean farmers where they can have a one-stop center for bulking and selling their products without middlemen.

//cue in: “We are trying…

Cue out:…will be negotiated.”//

The nutritional value of soya beans has increased the demand for the cereal by local and regional processors. According to the National Food and Agricultural Statistics System 2019/20 report, Uganda exported most of its Soya beans to COMESA countries (68.6 percent) specifically to Kenya and Rwanda, constituting 84.9 percent and 10.4percent respectively followed by European Union (29.7 percent) specifically France (55.1 percent) and the Netherlands (27.3 percent).

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