Parliament has granted Dr. Abed Bwanika, MP for Kimaanya-Kabonera Division, permission from the House to introduce the Contract Farming Bill which seeks to regulate contract and block farming in the country.
Under contract farming, there is an agreement between a buyer and farmers to supply a specified quantity and quality of agricultural products at agreed price conditions on a specified delivery date.
In some cases, the buyer supports farmers in preparation and other farming operations, including the supply of farm inputs and technology advice.
According to Bwanika, who presented the motion for the bill during the plenary session on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, the proposal also seeks to create a legal framework to govern the execution of transactions related to the sale of future agricultural products at mutually agreed prices and the provision of agricultural services between a farmer and a third party.
He also claims to prescribe the form of cultivation contract; to regulate the conclusion of block farming contracts between owners of parcels of land to regulate the sale, payment, delivery, rejection and pricing of agricultural products produced in accordance with a farming contract, among others.
Bwanika said farmers face great risks from price fluctuations, and if the bill passes, it will mitigate risks and help farmers negotiate the best prices with buyers.
AUDIO: Dr. Abed Bwanika “It will help farmers minimize post-harvest losses because farmers will be directly connected to buyers, so there won’t be the question of looking for where to store their produce and that will help the farmers.
get other benefits from farming as an economic enterprise,” said Bwanika.
He also added that buyers will equally benefit from the law as they will connect directly with farmers, negotiate the best prices and plan for the market.
He says that the bill also provides for block farming which will solve the problem of land fragmentation.
“Block farming will help farmers benefit from individual farmers’ experiences when farming together.
Block and contract farming will help improve the environment in which farmers will produce, will help farmers access markets, and will also help farmers benefit from the parish development model,” he said.
Honorable Stella Apolot, the Ngora district parliamentarian who supported the proposal to introduce the bill, said contract farming is currently restricted to plantation crops such as tea and sugarcane.
She says that the profit margin and income of small farmers will be improved.
AUDIO: Br. Stella Apolot “It will also promote good quality end products as both stakeholders have the same interest in success in terms of production and processing.
Direct contracting with buyers will increase competition, which will lead to higher prices for agricultural products and therefore higher incomes,” she said.
Hon. Pamela Kamugo, Budaka District MP, said the use of contracts has been attractive to many farmers because they are guaranteed markets and production support, and it is also beneficial to buyers.
AUDIO: Br. Pamela Kamugo “Farmers have a guaranteed market once the product is ready.
The farmer and the buyer also have security since the purchase and supply are assured,” she said.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa called on Bwanika to meet the requirement on the financial implications of the bill.
He also said that before submitting a proposal, deputies should have a dialogue with ministries, departments and agencies about the need for the bill.