ZOMBO. Chia Farmers in Zombo district have received at least 400 pieces of tarpaulins from Bradford Holdings Incorporation, a United States (US) based company in Uganda.
The donation is aimed at enhancing quality along the chia value chain in the area.
Ms Jones Barbra, the Bradford Holdings Incorporation President who delivered the consignment at the West Nile Farmers’ Agri-Business Enhancement Initiative (WENFABEI) office in Paidha town on Tuesday said the delivery is one way of helping farmers produce high quality chia that will not face rejection in the market.
She said Bradford Holdings Incorporation is committed to collaborating with chia farmers in the greater Nebbi to produce the best chia on the world market in order to realize positive changes in their lives.
“We know our farmers do not have all the resources to buy certain farm inputs and it is the reason we have come to fill the gap so that our farmers adhere to the quality standard,” she said.
Barbra said she is excited by the chia operation in the greater Nebbi and expressed hope of tapping its growing market in the US.
Mr Moses Mpanga, the marketing director under the operation wealth creation said several investors are willing to work with chia farmers in the greater Nebbi but the challenge has been the issue of post-harvest handling which is being worked upon.
He said chia farmers will on top of getting the tarpaulins, be supported with threshing machines in the shortest time possible to enable them to produce high quality chia that will favorably compete in the world market.
“I’m excited by the cooperation with our investor and it is what the government is doing so that whatever our farmers are producing find a better market,” he said.
Mpanga also said they are working towards certifying chia from Zombo as organic but this will take close to two years because the process of certification is long.
He, however, warned other middlemen whom he accused of distorting the market and confusing farmers on chia prices to desist from the practice.
According to Mpanga, the government is soon making intervention by arresting middlemen who are misleading farmers on chia market price.
He said the current chia price of UGX2, 500 per kilogram has been determined by the forces of demand and supply.
“We are organizing all chia farmers, exporters, and buyers so that we can eliminate the middlemen because they are confusing our farmers,” he said.
Mr Rodgers Owachgiu, the WENFABEI chief accounting officer said the delivery has come at the time farmers are in dire need of post-harvest tools like tarpaulins among others.
He said he is optimistic that the current intervention is one of the quality control measures that will see chia from the greater Nebbi tap better market.
There are at least 12,000 farmers registered under WENFABEI with 8,000 engaged into chia production.