Hundreds of commercial dealers are thronging Omoro district in
the quest for soybeans.
The dealers come from far as Lira City and Central Uganda in search of lucrative
crops which is a major raw material for producing edible oil among other food
They have thronged the sub-counties of Opit, Odek, Lalogi and Lakwana that in
the last season produced several acres of soybeans.
A kilogram of soybean is currently being sold between Shillings 3,000 and 3,500
as compared to the previous seasons when it was being sold at Shillings 800 and
1,000 or 1,500.
Sseseko Mubutu, a middleman and wholesale dealer from Lira City who has pitched
camp in Opit Sub County says that he buys at least seven tonnes of soybeans
after every two weeks.
Mubutu who buys from the farmers at 3,000 Shillings supplies his produce to
Mount Meru Factory in Lira City at Shillings 3,100 for the production of edible
oil among other food nutrients.
//Cue in: ‘’cuk tye Lira…
Cue out: …market bedo maber.’’//
Walter Otim, another dealer from Lira City has also pitched camp in Omoro
district for the past one month to buy soybeans wholesale from the farmers and
later sells to oil factories in Lira City and other parts of Central Uganda.
Otim says he has been in the business for more than ten years, he cites
that there is a tremendous increase in the prices of soybeans due to the low
production as opposed to the previous years when it would go for either
Shillings 1,000 or 1,200 per kilogram.
//Cue in: ‘’mwaka ca ma…
Cue out: …aa ki Lira.’’//
The dealers have however complained of poor post-harvest handling among the
farmers which they say have led to poor qualities or even reduced prices from
the factories since they buy them while already packed in sacks.
Most of the produce is reportedly packed with soil, while not properly
dried and poorly sorted.
Alice Atim, a member of Oitino Green Growers Cooperative says her members lack
the requisite knowledge in handling their crops during and after harvests as
well as proper storage and packaging.
She says that the group produces several tons of cereals but dries them on the
ground which makes them prone to mixing with soil, hence poor qualities and
being below the international market standards.
Tom Mboya Okedo, an agricultural inspector at the Ministry of Agriculture says
that the poor post-harvest management among farmers have greatly affected their
outputs and narrowed their sales only to the local market and at lower prices
as well as diseases.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc