Produce prices have dropped in Busia district due to high supply. A Kilogram of maize now costs Shillings 560 from Shillings 650, a Kilogram of millet costs Shillings 2150 from Shillings 2400 while a Kilogram of sorghum costs Shillings 900 from Shillings 1050.
A kilogram of Nambaale bean variety has dropped from Shillings 2300 to Shillings 2,100, Yellow and Kanyebwa from Shillings 2800 to Shillings 2600 and Wairimu, which comes from Mutukula now costs Shillings 1820 from Shillings 2000. Soybeans cost Shillings 2,100 from Shillings 2500. The traders are taking soya beans to Lira where it fetches Shillings 2,300.
The high volume of produce in Busia originates from Mubende Mityana, Kiboga Mutukula, Kasese, Kyegegwa and Kabale districts among others. Wilson Musenero, a maize trader at Busia produce market says besides the high supply, the prices have been affected by Kenyan traders buying directly from Ugandan farmers.
Henry Bwire, another produce dealer says that they don’t expect produce prices to increase because farmers have started planting and more produce is expected as early as April this year. He has appealed to fellow traders not to stock the grain for long, saying they will make losses.
Abel Kitawo, another trader says that the produce business has become meaningless because they are making loses due to increased supply amidst low demand. He has been stuck with maize on a truck for five days. He appeals to the government to restrict the direct engagement of foreign traders with local farmers to protect their business.
Abubakar Geisha, a maize and beans dealer, says that they are worried that the situation may worsen if the government doesn’t fully open schools, which formed the bulk of their clients.