A quick peek into a farmer’s life in Uganda
By Sean Patrick
The number of small holder green banana farmers is getting smaller because it is not a viable lifestyle anymore. The price farmers get for their products is not sufficient for a decent livelihood. There is no strong market and the local market is always fluctuating, while export to the international market is still relatively small.
Farmers sell to middlemen who determine the price, both what they pay the farmer and ask at the market. In harvest season (approximately 3 times a year) the local markets cannot absorb all the produce. This results in post harvest losses or in farmers having to sell cheap in order to get rid of their produce. As a result more people are giving up farming and the young people rather look for other jobs. Yet farming has the highest potential, because it is easy to farm in Uganda due to good soil and high nutritional crops, like green banana or amaranth. Many of those crops are being forgotten.
Drying the green banana is a new idea to increase the shelf life and preserves the food, all with the purpose of creating a sustainable market. Then the next step is in developing innovative food products that generate a greater value than the basic raw material of the green banana.