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Added: 2 months 1 week ago
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Buikwe villagers to get guns to guard vanilla gardens
Government is planning to train and arm five volunteers in each village to protect their vanilla crop from thieves.

Government is planning to train and arm five volunteers in each village to protect their vanilla crop from thieves.

The move comes on the heels of several appeals by vanilla farmers for help to deal with rampant theft and dealers who who buy immature vanilla. Many vanilla crop farmers across the country are spending nights in the fields, guarding their crops against thieves.

The farmers say that traders and middlemen dealing in vanilla are a big problem, but no action has been taken against them.

In his state of the nation address last week, the President hinted that he was aware of the farmers’ concerns.

In response to complaints of rampant vanilla theft senior security officers met with vanilla farmers at Ngogwe sub-county headquarters in Buikwe district. The farmers complained that they have spent as much as Shs94 million on security for their crops.

Hilary Odoch, a senior police officer informed the farmers that police is looking for a way round this because the law specifies that they can deal with theft but not the sale of immature vanilla beans.

The Deputy Commander of the Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbadi also announced the plan by government to train five people in each village to guard the vanilla gardens. He also requested local councils to enact by-laws that will provide a basis for taking legal action against people who buy and sell immature vanilla.