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Ugandan farmers angry over low cotton price

19
Jan '12
Angered over the huge decline in the purchase price of cotton, farmers in Uganda are either destroying their crops or are abandoning them.

The price of cotton has fallen substantially from last year's UG shillings 2,300 per kg to UG shillings 800 to 1,600 per kg at present.

Several farmers in regions like Lira, Kasese, Rubirizi, Nebbi, Kamwenge and Kumi have destroyed their cotton crop, while those in other regions have abandoned their fields.

Farmers blame Government apathy for their situation as it failed to safeguard their interests while the prices were falling.

Farmers are demanding that the Government provide subsidies to support them and help them to at least recover their production costs. They claim that low prices would dissuade them from undertaking cotton cultivation next year.

Meanwhile, the farmers have also called upon the Government to revive the cooperative societies, as they believe that this would help them to store their produce and sell them in bulk when prices rise.

Farmers believe that rejuvenation of the cooperative movement is the only solution to their problem, without which ginners and middlemen would continue to cheat them.

Although Cotton Development Organisation (CDO), an agency monitoring the production, processing and marketing of cotton in Uganda, recently announced that cotton would be procured at a price of UG shillings 1,600 per kg, dealers in Nebbi district were procuring cotton lint at UG shillings 1,000 per kg.

The farmers, particularly in Nebbi, for whom cotton is the main cash crop and major source of income, are unable to digest the fact that they are enduring losses even after investing their money and working hard for six months.

Thus, they called for the President's intervention and stated that if the Government does not increase the purchase price for cotton, it would become difficult for them to fulfil some of their key responsibilities like paying their children's school fees.

However, CDO stated that sluggish global demand and high costs of ginning operations in the country make it difficult to hike the price of cotton.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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