UGANDA – The World Food Programme (WFP), world’s number one Zero Hunger campaigner has picked Uganda as the global procurement hub, providing more than 1,000 grain farmers with opportunity to benefit from local procurements.

According to the Monitor, WFP has constructed more than 70 silos in the country for post-harvest management as part of the scheme to ensure quality grains based on standards.

Uganda produces grains in excess and has the capacity to supply the entire East African region and beyond.

Last year, WFP bought 100,000 tonnes of grain valued at US$42 million and 126,000 tonnes worth US$50 million back in 2016, bringing total local purchases to more than 300,000 metric tonnes over the last three years.

“Uganda is now one of our global procurement hubs for model modern commodity management facility.

This means we can order local purchases from here and it’s not going to be a one year’s programme.

This is going to be as long as Uganda can continue to produce,” said Mr Elkhidir Daloum, the WFP country director.

“We are buying from organised groups because for example if I want to buy 20 metric tonnes I cannot be moving from one farm to another collecting small bits, I will have to buy from organised groups that can supply the whole 20 metric tonnes of high class grains at once.”

Improving post-harvest handling

WFP in collaboration with different government agencies is constructing supply collection points across the country to allow for bulking.

The procurement offers direct market to farmers but on condition of meeting the specified requirements and standards set.

Training on post-harvesting handling works to add value to farmers by helping them realise improved yields and volumes.

To promote grain production in the country, WFP will purchase a kilo of maize for not less than US$0.14.

“We agreed that we shall not buy maize for less than that value because we don’t want our farmers cheated and discouraged,” said Lt Gen Charles Angina, the Deputy Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation.