WFP warehouse set to boost grain trade in northern Uganda
With the help of funding from Japan, the United States and Saudi Arabia, WFP has established a grain warehouse to help formely displaced people, who have returned to farming, to access quality grain markets in the region.
GULU – WFP and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries today officially opened a 6,000-metric-ton-capacity grain warehouse in Gulu town to boost the grain infrastructure in northern Uganda.
The licensed warehouse is expected to enable smallholder farmer groups and traders to sell more quality grain in the region. Depositors have already used the warehouse to sell 300 metric tons of maize to buyers in South Sudan.
“As northern Uganda has changed, so has WFP’s type of assistance”, said WFP Country Director Sory Ouane at today’s launch ceremony. “We are working with the Government to support recovery and to help make the people productive again.”
The warehouse venture complements WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative. Under P4P, WFP connects farmers to markets, using its food assistance purchasing power to help smallholders increase the quantity and quality of their production.
“Working with WFP, the Government is committed to promoting growth and investment in the agricultural sector and to ensuring that this brings increased earnings for small holders”, said Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Minister, Tress Buchanayandi.
The warehouse, which will be privately managed, partly to make sure it will become a sustainable solution, was purchased, refurbished and fitted with modern processing equipment by WFP, using funds from the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
The venture is in line with the National Development Plan and the Ministry of Agriculture’s Development Strategy and Investment Plan. It supports structured trading through the warehouse receipt system, implemented under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which is a mechanism enabling licensed warehouse keepers to clean dry, grade, bag and store agricultural produce from farmer groups, traders and processors for a fee. The system addresses two main constraints faced by smallholders in Uganda: the lack of modern stores and the difficulty of selling poor quality grain.