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Foreign, Local Silver Fish Dealers Clash Over Quality :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Foreign, Local Silver Fish Dealers Clash Over Quality

Tonny Egwiru, a Congolese national and one of the biggest exporters of silverfish from Kiyindi landing site, says that the poor post-harvest methods have now forced many transnational traders to hire boats and buy fresh silver fish from the trappers on the lake and sundry it themselves.
Local dealers selling silver fish at Kiyindi landing site in Buikwe district.

Audio 2

There is a dispute between foreign and local silver fish dealers at Kiyindi landing site in Buikwe district over quality concerns. 

The dispute stems from a decision by the foreign traders mainly from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC to buy silver fish directly from fishermen citing the poor post-harvest handling methods employed by local dealers in Kiyindi market, which compromise quality.

The foreign dealers accuse the local traders of sun drying silver fish on the bare ground where it gets contaminated with stones and sand making it unpalatable for their customers. They also accuse the local dealers of failing to pack the silverfish properly in sacks, which also affects the quality of the product.

Tonny Egwiru, a Congolese national and one of the biggest exporter of silver fish from Kiyindi landing site, says that the poor post-harvest methods have now forced many of transnational traders to hire boats and buy fresh silver fish from the trappers on the lake and sundry it themselves. 

“We developed a strong mistrust within local dealers when it comes to quality. Despite of warning them about drying silver fish on ground, they have insisted on applying the same method forcing us to look for better options,” Egwiru notes. 

The local dealers have rejected the accusations leveled against them, saying the foreign traders have been buying fresh silverfish. James Tumwebaze, the Chairperson of the Kiyindi market, says that they had a stable relationship with the foreign traders until they decided to buy fresh silver fish directly from the fishermen. 

//Cue in: “Njakwebaza abasubuuzi...

Cue out: ...nebabaleka nga bbobaavu,”//

Justine Namagara, another silverfish dealer, says that they are stuck with tons of silverfish in the stores since they lack a market. She says it is now hard for them to pay rental fees for their accommodation and market dues due to the lack of business.

 //Cue in: “Naye tuddukiridde..

.Cue out: ...mukene wa bbaafu,”//

Fred Kaggwa, the LC 3 chairperson of Kiyindi is worried that the misunderstandings among traders may result into insecurity. He notes that several foreign traders camp in Kiyindi without informing the local authorities yet they travel to distant and scattered islands. He notes that marine police are not facilitated and equipped enough to monitor the traders, saying it is easy for pirates to attack them.

“As local leaders, we are now focused at coming up with bylaws streamlining trade between locals and foreigners to prohibit conflicts though currently we are going to engage them especially on the matter of security,” Kaggwa notes.                    

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