maize warehouse

This is according to Silver Ojakol, the commissioner for external trade, ministry of trade. He made the remarks at the launch of a report on maize standards in Kampala.

The development follows reports that Uganda’s maize is failing to penetrate the EAC market due to poor quality.

He said that warehouses that will be licensed must be equipped with proper grading facilities, moisture meters and drying lines to ensure that the stored maize remains in good condition.

“Every warehouse should be equipped with a dryer, storage capacity and grading so that whatever is brought by the farmer is graded and stored to the required standards,” said Ojakol.

Already two warehouses in Kigumba and Masindi that meet the required standards have licensed to buy and store farmer’s grain in good condition so as to get ready market.

At the same event Peter Ebong from the directorate of Crop resources in the ministry of agriculture added that some farmers still don’t know how to store their grain properly.

He said that storing maize off the ground, off the walls and spaced prevents the maize from getting moist hence preventing rotting and being eaten by rodents.

“When starking the bags or packing them in a store, they should be crisscrossed to create space which allows for fresh air,” said Ebong.

Other issues affecting the quality of maize include late planting due to changes in the weather, pests and diseases, lack of quality seed for planting among others.

Currently Uganda is producing 5.5 million tons of grain annually an amount which stakeholders said is too little for Uganda and the region.

By Prossy Nandudu, The New Vision


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