Rising prices of vanilla on the global market have become a threat to farmers in Uganda rather than a blessing.
Uganda produces about 150 metric tons of processed vanilla annually, most of which is sold in the United States, India and the United Kingdom. A kilo of unprocessed vanilla sells for about 67 dollars locally.
Armed thieves besiege farms to steal vanilla pods and are later sold off to unscrupulous brokers.
Farmers in Kasese, in the country’s west are forced to arm themselves or hire security guards to deter vanilla hunters.