Farmers have complained that their produce are not fetching desired prices in the market. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NATION Cassava farmers are struggling to find market for excess produce which has forced them to sell below input cost.
While cassava production has increased in Southern Province this season, long after recovering from cassava mosaic disease, which destroyed the crops between 2013 and 2016.
Farmers say the increased supplies have seen cassava milling factory located in Kinazi, Ruhango District buy the produce at as low as Rwf75 ($0.087) a kilogramme. The price is below the input cost estimated at Rwf85 ($0.098).
Martin Harerimana, head of Rwanda Cassava Co-operative Federation observed that farmers still can’t sell big chunk of their produce sold.
“We have accepted Rwf75 after our negotiations for a margin price of Rwf100 didn’t work, but still there is not many to sell to. We are doing the advocacy to at least convince the factory to pay advances to farmers pending its planned quick expansion to boost operating capacity,” said Mr Harerimana.
Mr Harerimana expressed concerns that the market will worsen further in the coming months in view of majority of small-scale farmers seeking to sell off produce to pay off pending farm costs, cover other needs and prepare farms for other seasons.
Beside cassava, the country has reported an increase in production of other some key staple crops.
Save for for maize whose produce dropped by 3 per cent due to the fall armyworm infestation, according to government’s latest figures, other crops prioritised under the crop intensification programme like Irish potatoes, cassava, wheat, rice, beans among others recorded an increase in produce between 2015 and 2017.Irish potatoes for instance, recorded 17 per cent increase after production, which stood at six tonnes per hectare increased to 8.7 tonnes and even higher in some districts.Cassava yield per hectare jumped from 1.5 tonnes to 2.6 tonnes per hectare, translating into a 13 per cent production increase. Market challenges However, farmers said low sales attributed to the long-standing market challenges, limited capacity to store saw this boost translate into little to no profits for most of […]