The prices of seeds have shot up in Bududa district as the planting season draws closer. The most affected are maize and bean seeds. A kilogram of untreated maize seeds now costs Shillings 1800 from Shillings 1200.
A sachet of 2 kilograms of treated maize seed costs Shillings 22,000 from Shillings 15,000. A kilogram of none treated bean seeds that used to cost Shillings 1600 now costs Shillings 2200.
Most agro-input dealers in the district have started stocking the seeds in anticipation of making huge profits as the planting season sets in.
Asked why they are hiking the price of seeds, Peter Wambewo, a dealer in maize and bean seeds in Bunamubi trading center told URN that they are following the trend of prices right from wherever they also buy the seeds. He says wholesalers have also hiked the prices of the seeds, which has forced them to hike the price to recoup their investment.
Wilson Swalikha, a farmer complained of the hiked prices, saying they are still struggling with COVID-19 and have no money to buy seeds at the exorbitant price. Swalikha says that he is uncertain on whether or not he will be able to plant this year given the high price of seeds.
Peter Namondo, another farmer, asks the government to regulate seed prices to ensure farmers plant food. He said if that is not done then they are most likely going to grapple with food shortage.
Godfrey Bumesi asked the government to expedite the distribution of Operation Wealth Creation seeds so that they can be able to plant. He said he doesn’t have money to buy seeds this season given the high prices.
Felix Odong, the Bududa District Production Officer blamed the government for failing to standardize seed prices leaving traders at the mercy of traders. He said there is a need for regulation of prices by the government to end the exploitation of farmers.