Members of Parliament are worried about the low maize prices in the country and have tasked government to explain the reasons behind the price stagnation.
Hon Pentagon Kamusiime (NRM, Butemba County) told Parliament that his constituents are concerned of the impending poverty because of the sustained poor prices of maize.
“I come from an agricultural area where we largely depend on crops and animals but now a kilogram of maize goes for shs200; the people I represent are being pushed into poverty,” said Kamusiime.
Kamusiime explained that markets that used to consume maize from his constituency such as Tanzania, Congo, South Sudan and Rwanda were closed, adding that the available markets in Kenya and Somalia cannot consume much of their produce.
He wondered why government through NAADS gives out seeds to farmers but cannot protect farmers from price fluctuations.
Hon Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (NRM, Kasambya County) decried the situation in Mubende district saying “currently in Mubende, one has to sell 50kg of maize to buy one kilogram of meat”. He asked government to come up with a price stabilization fund as it used to be done in the past.
Hon Wamanga Wamai (FDC, Mbale Munic.) urged government to re-introduce silos and regional stores where produce is stored until prices are stable.
“It is prudent that we think about silos and regional stores so that at such a time, government could buy maize from farmers at good prices, store them and later distribute them in times of need,” said Wamanga warning that whereas maize is currently in excess supply, hunger would soon be unavoidable.
The Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, told Parliament that the President had been briefed about the poor maize prices and asked the House to allow Cabinet discuss the matter before government can make a statement to Parliament on Tuesday.