By Nakanwagi Olivier Mukaaya
Farmers in Butaleja district are counting losses after a drastic fall of rice prices from Shs2500 to 1500 per kilogram during this covid 19 pandemic period.
Butaleja is one of the biggest known producers of rice in the country.
However farmers are now struggling to cope with the price of rice hitting the lowest mark.
Farmers who participated in the Doho irrigation scheme farmer’s cooperative society (DIFACOS) meeting on Thursday 26th November attributed the price slump to the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Ms. Nyanga Rema, a rice farmer in Butaleja said that the drop was caused by the effects of the COVID 19 lockdown which affected the movement of traders and also consumption patterns among city dwellers.
Mr. Majanjasi Shabani, also a rice farmer in Doho irrigation scheme attributed the drop in rice prices on the ban on public gatherings.
He added that weddings and burials used to contribute a lot to the consumption of rice which isn’t the case now.
“Gathering of many people isn’t allowed because of covid 19 and since then the consumption is really so low and that’s why the prices keep dropping,” he said.
The slump in prices has also been attributed to continued slosure of educational institutions.
“The prices have really gone so down since schools and other big events were stopped now the farmers are left with their rice because there is no market for it,” Kabasa Isaac, the general secretary Doho irrigation scheme said.
Meanwhile, Ssegawa Jimmy Ebil, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Butaleja encouraged the farmers to utilize the equipment being provided to them by government to develop their cooperative Society.
He also warned people who are encroaching on the scheme land to vacate before he comes for them.
“Please if you know that you have encroached on the irrigation scheme land, please leave now before I take any action,” he said.