Is Increasing Maize the Precedence for a Ugandan Entrepreneur?

Is Increasing Maize the Precedence for a Ugandan Entrepreneur?

Just how vital is maize to Uganda?

Just after 6 decades of Ugandan boarding faculty with having maize as a everyday food (typically identified as “posho“), I am not especially keen on it as a meal.

Nevertheless, maize is the most very cultivated and traded crop in Uganda. It is also the principal food source in establishments these kinds of as educational facilities, prisons, navy and the police. In addition to foods for human intake, the crop is an crucial ingredient in livestock and poultry feeds, as effectively as a very most popular starch applied in the fermentation of regional non official alcoholic brews.

To underline the significance of this crop, the authorities of Uganda has prioritized maize as a person of the 10 agricultural crops within the Rural Growth and Nationwide Zoning Technique.

So with the earlier mentioned in intellect, how do you proceed to improve maize and as a result help the government in its objective of poverty alleviation?

Initial THE Drawbacks

1. Fluctuating selling prices

Maize in Uganda has customarily been developed all through the wet seasons of Mid-February or March to June, and next rains from Mid-August to December. As a result, the entire sale and retail charges of maize grain and flour fluctuate noticeably with small costs just after the regular harvest season and significant selling prices in the course of “off seasons”. These fluctuating charges are also a end result of industry inefficiencies in Uganda as farmers usually lack of information on far more ideal costs.

There are nonetheless two alternatives for the “state-of-the-art thinking” Ugandan farmer:

a) Current market Information and facts Expert services (MIS). These give standard information through SMS, radio and their websites. Illustrations that have recently been set up consist of farmgain, agrinet and ratin. They deliver retail/wholesale price ranges for Kampala, up country markets and in some instances regional markets (this kind of as Kenya).

Warehouse Receipt Program (WRS). Its introduction was pioneered with assist from the Environment Food Programme (WFP)who obtain a significant section of maize in Uganda. This system enables a farmer to take their generate to a specified warehouse wherever it is dried, graded, packed and saved. The warehouse receipt they (the farmer) get is evidence of storage and it can even be applied as stability to get a loan (60% of worth of grain) from selected banking companies.

Storing of the merchandise by the farmer until a time when prices stabilize or when they can discover a suitable buyer helps them have extra control around their produce as opposed to when unscrupulous middlemen rule the sector.

2. Drought

Local climate improve has resulted in less than predictable rains, even in Uganda which has usually experienced acknowledged wet and dry seasons.

In order to counter this, we would advocate that the “advanced contemplating” farmer commit in a drinking water reservoir and uncomplicated mechanical pump technique like the “surprise pump” which fees approximately $150.

Another solution is to use enhanced seed kinds. People designed in Uganda like the Longe varieties (Longe 1, Longe 4, Longe 5 et al) are drought resistant kinds. Various seed companies in Uganda offer them (in the assortment of Shs. 2000-2500 for each kg).


1. Inter-cropping

Maize can be inter-cropped with beans. This has a variety of benefits like elevated profitability from the same acreage and reduced need for fertilizer (as beans by natural means fertilise soil).

Treatment should having said that be taken ahead of contemplating inter-cropping as crops have distinct cycles and there might be issues in use of say mechanized implements like tractors.

2. Superior Return on Financial commitment (ROI)

I make the adhering to assumptions in earning my estimate:

a) The farmer has 15 acres (about 6 ha), embraces irrigation and plants Longe 5 enhanced seed types

b) The farmer can entry a minimal-interest amount personal loan (10%) from a co-operative modern society to which he belongs. This loan will finance purchase of devices and

c) The farmer is marketing maize grain (and not maize flour).

On the foundation of the higher than, I estimate the Return on Financial investment (ROI) for this sector is as follows:

· Startup funds (A): Shs.34,188,000

· Profitability (B): Shs. 24,331,975

· Return on Capital (A/B): 1.405 yrs

Final phrase

My particular dislike for maize as a meals aside, disregarding this essential crop would seem a alternatively “quick-sighted” conclusion as escalating maize must just about definitely be involved in the portfolio of a really serious Ugandan investor or entrepreneur.

Its numerous use not only for human food items use but for animal feeds helps make it a incredibly critical crop. In addition it has export prospects through WFP (reduction aid) and to our neighbors like Kenya and Southern Sudan.

Additionally, the introduction of the revolutionary warehouse receipt system indicates that in addition to enabling farmers choose when to promote (therefore lessening fluctuating charges) it can now be utilised as security for loans. Absence of access to financial loans for agriculture has extended been a stumbling block to growth of the sector. It appears to be maize is contributing to solving this issue.