In Uganda seek ways to raise production
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.
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.
Vanilla pods. Ugandan farmers want to boost yields to satisfy the international market.