Ibanda sets stringent measures to streamline vanilla sector
Authorities in Ibanda district have set stringent measures to guide the vanilla sector stakeholders, to ensure they meet quality and other standards.
Fredric Ayorekire, the district production officer said that beginning next harvest season, all vanilla pods brought for sale will be inspected by extension staff to ensure they meet standards.
Vanilla buyers will also be required to acquire licenses and transport permits to ferry vanilla pods from the district.
Ayorekire added that vanilla will be marketed through cooperatives once they are in place, urging farmers to join primary cooperatives that will form an apex cooperative union at the district level.
Herbert Happy Mayanja, the district LC V chairman noted that other measures to guide the production, post-harvest handling, trade and marketing of vanilla in the district include selling of vanilla only at designated centres, in the presence of extension officers.
According to these guidelines, all vanilla buyers must be registered with the district and licensed to operate. And only recognized buying centres will be allowed to operate from harvest dates announced by the government.
“To safeguard quality, traders must get movement permits from the district to transport vanilla after the pods have been inspected and certified by the extension staff,” said Mayanja.
The measures that come ahead of the start of the next harvest season will be implemented with immediate effect.
Annet Byamukama, a vanilla farmer from Mishangi, Nyakatookye in Bisheshe Division, Ibanda municipality lauded the authorities for intervening to protect farmers from being cheated by unscrupulous buyers.