As vanilla prices shoot, farmers and dealers
VANILLA FARMERS in Uganda have never had it better, with farm-gate prices standing at about $70 per kilo for the price-sensitive produce.
With a kilo selling at $500 on the world market — a jump from $300 in 2017 — both farmers and dealers are seeking ways of boosting production to satisfy the market.
The Uganda Export Promotions Board said that the country is targeting to export 100 tonnes of vanilla this year, from about 75 tonnes exported last year.
Noah Maalanti, the director of Africaug.com, a vanilla export firm, said the supply cannot match the demand in overseas markets, even as the prices continue to rise. He said that a drop in the volume of exports registered in early 2014 was due to a fall in global market prices, which forced some farmers to abandon the crop.
“In early 2016, the export price was around $80. By the end of that year, it was around $100 and at the beginning of 2017 it rose to $300; it now stands at $500 per kilogramme. Farmers should start planting more vanilla now,” said Mr Maalanti.
Farmers are upbeat about the current farm-gate price of $70 a kilo-