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Added: 4 days 19 hours ago
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ON THE FARM: Cocoa farming threatening food security in Bundibugyo
Uganda exporters more than ten thousand metric tones of Cocoa every year and 60 percent of cocoa exported is produced in Bundibugyo.

There is fear that a food shortage could blanket Bundibugyo district as many farmers abandon growing crops in favour of the lucrative cocoa.This comes at the time cocoa prices continue to rise on the international market. 

Tea and coffee have remained the major cash crops in Uganda on the International Market over the years, Cocoa exporters believe that cocoa also has the potential due to its increased demand internationally.

 

Wilfred Aliganyira, the branch manager of ESCO one of the Cocoa Exporters in Bundibugyo says Uganda’s favourable soils and conducive environment climate especially in Bundibugyo has not be utilised fully. 

Aliganyira adds that despite efforts by exporters to improve the sector more needs to be done including government will to improve the sector.

The biggest buyers of cocoa in Bundibugyo included; ESCO (U) Ltd, OLAM, UGADEN, Agro Crop, Vanish, UCCL Brukam.Exporters buy already fermented cocoa from farmers, process it and then export it.

Cocoa is an internationally traded commodity and nearly all cocoa beans produced in Uganda are exported

 

However, they are worried about the deteriorating cocoa quality, and the poor methods used in fermenting and drying it.

 

To save the situation they have invested in drying materials and sensitising farmers on better practices.

Uganda exporters more than ten thousand metric tones of Cocoa every year and 60 percent of cocoa exported is produced in Bundibugyo.