By Eng. Tom Isingoma Mwesiga
Without going to much into detailed facts on this matter, everyone should be understanding that a farmer is one of the most important people in Uganda . But unfortunately is one of the most oppressed by the capitalism economy. As a Patriot, and Pan Afrikanist, I write this Open Letter to my beloved Government to look into my concerns.
~As of 2020 August, the price of maize in Kampala is between 600ugx to 650ugx. But 1 kg of maize flour (akawunga) in Kampala is at least 2,200.
~Sadly, in the village, a farmer is given at most 400ugx per kg. This is almost same problem associated with other farm outputs.
~The milk price in Kampala is around 16,00 per litre. But in the village farmers are sometimes given as low as 300 ugx per litre.
~In Rufula, the meat has always been around 10,000 ugx per kg but the live weight of an animal at the farm, the farmers are given as low as 4,000 ugx per kg. This means a cow of 200 kgs shamelessly the buyer will be giving 800,000 ugx.
~But what’s the cost of production at farm level? What is needed to raise a cow for 3 months? How much is put in the garden of pumpkins up to harvest?
~If one is renting land, and then hiring people to cultivate land, then buy seeds for maize, fence it and put in inputs but at harvest is given 400 ugx per kg, then I see oppression.
Why tax and fixing of price rates is the solution?
~Today, we pay 200 ugx per 24 hours to access internet as OTT. Has this benefited the government? I believe it has. How did it happen that they prices of MBs didn’t increase too much? How was such regulated?
~I suppose between 3-5% of selling price at the farm should be put per 6 months or per year on items sold. Or in any appropriate way to tax farmers.
~I imagine if the Government collects 5% per price of a kg of maize, then obviously the Government would set a fixed price below and maximum level at which the maize would be at the prevailing market period.
~The issue of buying cheaply at the farm level doesn’t affect the farmer only but also the whole economy. We should understand that once a farmer gets profits, the agriculture sector shall be energized to improve.
~Today it’s difficult to get large quantities of some crops and animals. Why? It’s just as a result of people not engaging in large scale farming due to high costs of production and less profits per harvest or sale.
~Can Uganda 🇺🇬 provide 5 million tonnes of wheat per month on the world market? I doubt. But the land is available!
~Can Uganda 🇺🇬 provide 50,000 cows per month on the world market? I doubt. Cows would extinct in Uganda. Not that we don’t have land, nor the farmers, but people have decided to just keep for domestic purposes than commercial. And that’s to a greater extent dependent on the less profit margin in agriculture business.
~I rather allow the government to take 50 shs per my Kg of maize if it was to be sold at 1,000 ugx. And thus wouldn’t stop the seller to put the price at 2200 per kg of maize flour in Kampala.
~It’s absurd that the middle men and traders benefit more than the farmer. This should be looked at if we wish to make Uganda 🇺🇬 and Afrika embrace agriculture as a backbone.
~Nowonder in the periods of drought Uganda 🇺🇬 goes to China 🇨🇳 for food support. It’s not good at all with the available good fertile soil and climate with just less than 50m people to beg China 🇨🇳 of almost 1.7 billon people.
~Finally, the issue of agriculture gaining value should not be made a political issue. Because Irrespective of the party we belong to, we all look at the agriculture sector for food.
~I call upon Patriotic and Pan Afrikan leaders in the Government of the Republic of Uganda, to look at my call as an important one.
~Afrika to be strong we should base from our Strengths and Opportunities to fight our Weaknesses and Threats. And agriculture is a vital Strength and an Opportunity for us to develop our country and Afrikan Continent.
For God and my Country 🇺🇬
Eng. Tom Isingoma Mwesiga
+256-703 072203 Whatsap
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