Join Cooperatives To Defeat Middlemen

OMORO – Middlemen, according to farmers in Omoro District, are raking in all the profits and paying peanuts for unprocessed millet, sorghum, maize and soya-beans.

The farmers claim they have fallen easy prey to middlemen who buy produce at a giveaway price since many cannot add value to their crop.

Joyce Akullu, 36, a millet farmer, said middlemen are exploiting them because they have no milling machine. They cannot sell a processed product.

“You can imagine what a farmer goes through, we almost toil for nothing, middlemen are the ones who benefit more,’’ she said.

Our leaders have not helped much to lobby for resources to see to it that we get a milling machine,” she said.

Thomas Opio, who has grown soya-beans for the last 15 years, said apart from being cheated by the middlemen, they also pass on fake cash notes.

“Some middlemen come with fake money and they steal even the little we could have got. Our plight can only be alleviated if we add value to what we produce,” he said.

Bernard Okumu Obina, the commercial officer Omoro District, said there is an idle milling machine in the district.

“The milling machine has been in the district for the last three years but the district has no capacity to have a transformer in place to run the machine,” he said

Several pleas have been made to higher offices but nothing positive has come through, he added.

But Jackson Okwera, the chairman Puranga- Gem Cooperative Society, advised farmers to consider joining cooperatives so that they can have a better bargaining power since they will be selling in bulk.

“Fellow farmers should join us so that we can push for what we feel is needed to help farmers,” he advised.

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