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Uganda maize (zea mays) is arguably the best-known cereal not only in this country but much of sub-Saharan Africa. The ear is the most distinctive part of the plant as it bears a comb with multiple irregular rows of grains that top with pollen. There are a great number of varieties that range from multiple yellow corn cultivars like popcorn to the most cultivated sweet maize or white maize. Most Ugandans in areas like Kabarole to the west grow the last mentioned white variety. The grain enjoys the rank as one of the earliest to domesticate: by 8000 B.C., Mexicans were cultivating corn and embedded it in their cultures.
In Uganda, maize is both a staple in grain and processed forms. Ground maize forms posho or flour that locals mix with boiling water and other ingredients for serving with green vegetables. Most of the flour comes in 2-kilogram bags that are available at the millers’and general shops.
Maize provides starch for daily energy intake in the body. It also has a range of minerals that include magnesium for strong bone formation, which is 10 percent of the daily requirements. The zinc proportion stands at 5 percent with a similar margin for phosphorous for healthy teeth and bones. With 8 percent of the daily value of manganese, maize tops the bone-formation group of cereals. The level of vitamins is equally impressive for grain as folate is available at 11 percent of the daily needs. Vitamin C is also present at 8 percent of the daily value while thiamine tops the list with 13 percent margin.
We source Uganda maize from almost all parts of the country. Our key districts include Masindi, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Jinja, Kabarole and Mbale, among others. We only go for family growers who keep their farms under organic conditions. These include the application of farmyard manure or mulch and abstaining from chemical sprays.
We harvest Uganda maize by hand-picking means. This is usually best when the plant has attained its sixth month for the late maturing varieties. Our expert workers usually check for firm, fully-fledged ears and remove them gently from the sheath or stem with their stalks intact. They keep them in baskets which later go into trucks that take them away to the shelling point. At this point, the moisture level in the comb is at least 18%.
After shelling the grains so that they are now fully exposed to the sun, we either sun-dry them or blow hot water over them to expedite curing. We heat them at just slightly above room temperature at 30 degrees Celsius to dry the grains. At the end of the process, the moisture level will have come down to 12%. For the artificial drying method, we put a single layer of the grains at a time inside the special bin that aerates them each time hot air blows inside. Another succeeds each layer until the entire crop is dry.
We pack maize in various largescale sacks that are made of such materials as fabric, sisal and plastic. All our packages begin at 50 kilograms minimum weight. Apart from the woven bags, all other receptacles come with film-lined interiors to keep the cargo in a dry but well-hydrated condition. We stick produce labels that indicate the name or variety, the country of origin, the net weight and the destination.
We store Uganda maize at room temperature of average 25 degrees Celsius at a moisture level of around 8 percent of its weight. In extremely hot times of the year, we bring the temperature to as low as 4 degrees Celsius after ascertaining that there is no likelihood of mold or aflatoxin formation. We transport the grains at the same temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius to the airport in Entebbe for immediate shipping. We also resell maize within Uganda and ship it by long-distance to neighboring countries like Kenya during times of shortage.
If you are therefore in need of perhaps the most widely distributed cereal in East Africa, you now have ready suppliers of Uganda maize. All our produce comes from family growers who cultivate it under Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). You can expect the cargo to reach you in as little as a day by air and a few days by sea via the long-distance conveyance to ports in neighboring countries. Irrespective of tonnage, we keep the prices for maize at very competitive rates. Make your order today!
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