In a bid to cut transportation costs and reduce storage risks among horticultural farmers, the National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB), will set up collection centres countrywide.
The officer in charge of monitoring and evaluation at NAEB, James Munanura, said in an exclusive interview that the centres would be operational by the end of the year.
“The exercise to identify location of these centres is almost complete, we are to award tenders for construction and according to the plan, these facilities are expected to be operating by September,” Munanura said.
One of the farmers, Athanase Rwabizankwaya, who is also chairman of Kamara Cooperative Society, a farmer’s cooperative in Gatore Sector, Kirehe District, commended the move saying it will bring positive change.
The cooperative of 1,060 farmers harvests 10 tonnes of green bananas every two weeks and two tonnes of apple bananas among other products.
“We (farmers) have had a problem of storage since every one of us has to find their own means. This has seriously affected the quality of our produce,” he said.
Rwabizankwaya added that the storage centres will also lead to an increase in production saying that some farmers have been reluctant and afraid of producing on a large scale due to losses incurred when their produce goes bad.