The Ministry of Agriculture has urged local business community particularly upscale commercial markets to buy produce from farmers.
According to a statement from the ministry, access to markets is a recurring challenge among rural farmers globally.
“To assist rural farmers in overcoming these hurdles, the Land Husbandry, the Water Harvesting and Hillside Irrigation (LWH) project of the Ministry of Agriculture recently held a meeting with stakeholders from hotels, supermarkets, and restaurants,” the statement reads apart.
The meeting aimed at introducing the parties to what LWH-supported farmers could produce, in order to facilitate market linkages.
Speaking at the forum, Jolly Dusabe, LWH Coordinator emphasised the need to remove impediments that prevent rural producers to access urban markets.
She also highlighted the benefits of the scheme among business owners, noting that they would be guaranteed a consistent supply of fresh, high quality produce at the cheapest prices.
During the meeting, an Agribusiness Technical Assistant at the LWH project, Fred Ssango, made a presentation on food items that could be sourced from the LWH supported farmers for supply to the local market. These include; carrots, spinach, tomatoes and water melons.
Participants disclosed that many local hotels and agricultural businesses lack adequate cold storage facilities, a constraint to the famers.
Speaking at the closure of the meeting, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), Ernest Ruzindaza, emphasised the need to hold similar meetings on a quarterly basis to review progress.
The LWH team made a commitment to organise more follow-up meetings with the respective participants, to ensure that information is regularly updated and used to guide production.