President Yoweri Museveni has assured his Zimbabwe counterpart,
Emerson Mnangagwa, that Uganda has the capacity to export maize grains
worth 650,000 tonnes to Zimbabwe per year.
“Since the colonial time, Ugandans had been misguided that the only cash crops were coffee, tea, tobacco and cotton. When the NRM came to power
in 1986, the government has been sensitizing the people that all crops are
cash crops from which a farmer can earn an income. Ugandans have
awakened in the agriculture sector to produce more especially maize in two
seasons of rain annually,” he said.
The President made the remarks in a meeting with a visiting Zimbabwe
a delegation led by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and
Rural Resettlement, Air Marshall Perence Shiri, at State House, Entebbe.
Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Vincent Ssempijja,
Secretary to Finance, Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, local maize processors and
prominent maize producers in Uganda, among others, attended the
meeting that took place today at State House, Entebbe.
“Uganda today produces five million tonnes of maize and only one million is
being consumed within the country. Go and tell President Mnangagwa that
Uganda is going to supply maize grains to Zimbabwe, other logistic issues
that include transport, production costs, global market competition, among
others notwithstanding,” the President added.
Mr. Museveni told his guests that the market of 42 million people in
Uganda is not enough even when the regional East African market is added.
He, therefore, stressed that the addition of more markets in Africa is a
a crucial element for local agricultural produce.
“The maize that is grown in Uganda is of high quality and typically organic
because it is not produced under the application of chemicals,” he said.
He observed that there is need for government to put a subsidy for a year
or two on maize export to be able to win the global competition on maize after
learning that maize was to be exported to Zimbabwe at between US$370
and US$380 per tonne when other countries such as Mexico exports at
US$340 and Ukraine at US$225 per tonne.
Mr. Museveni advised that to minimize transport costs from Uganda to
Mombasa Port, dedicated railway wagons should be used to transport the
maize instead of using road transport as all the stakeholders continue to
discussions of other related logistics to ensure a sustainable export of
maize to Zimbabwe.
Minister Perrance Shiri, who conveyed a special message from President
Mnangagwa to President said that his delegation is Uganda to concretize
on the two leaders’ discussions regarding maize export to Zimbabwe.
“The delegation is here under the directive of President Mnangagwa about
maize importation from Uganda following the recent talks at the AU
Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Uganda has enough and good quality maize,” said Minister Shiri.
Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Vincent Sempijja,
reported that the Zimbabwe delegation has been in the country for over a
week to study in detail maize production in Uganda. He added the
the delegation has visited maize processing factories in Nalukolongo and in
Busega in Kampala and maize farms in Kiryandongo District in Bunyoro Sub-
The region where they have appreciated the maize quality.
One of the prominent maize producers in Uganda who is a member of the
Grain Council, Ben Puinz of Agilis Partners, advocated for more extensive
farmers to be involved more in maize growing and production as the market
the stimulus given the favorable climatic conditions Uganda has.