In Uganda seek ways to raise pro­duc­tion

The East African - - BUSINESS -

gramme, com­pared with less than $1 in 2006.

Ac­cord­ing to Umar Ki­tyo, a field of­fi­cer of Mukono Vanilla Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, there is hope that the prices of un­pro­cessed vanilla will shoot to more than $80 per kilo dur­ing the har­vest sea­son.

In Uganda, vanilla is har­vested twice a year— June-july and De­cem­ber-jan­uary.

“We are hope­ful that the prices will keep go­ing up,” Mr Ki­tyo told The Eastafrican.

He added that their as­so­ci­a­tion is now look­ing at plant­ing more vanilla so that they can match the global de­mand, and ben­e­fit from the high prices.

Theft cases

But Mr Ki­tyo said that thieves have made the busi­ness less prof­itable for farm­ers. The com­pet­i­tive prices have led to a rise in theft cases; some farm­ers have had to hire se­cu­rity guards, adding to over­head costs.

Mr Ki­tyo now wants the gov­ern­ment to put in place laws that would de­ter the grow­ing num­ber of vanilla thieves who steal and sell im­ma­ture beans thus un­der­min­ing the qual­ity on the mar­ket.

In Uganda, dis­tricts where vanilla is grown in­clude Kayunga, Mukono, Mpigi, Jinja, Ka­muli, Buikwe, Bundibu­gyo, Luweero and Kas­ese.

Glob­ally, Mada­gas­car leads in vanilla ex­ports with 1,600 tonnes per year fol­lowed by In­done­sia and France. Uganda comes in at 12th po­si­tion with ex­port rev­enue of $5.7 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est (2016) sta­tis­tics.

Pic­ture: File

Vanilla pods. Ugan­dan farm­ers want to boost yields to sat­isfy the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

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