Lack of Market Access Frustrates Irish Potato Traders

Audio 1

400 Irish potato traders in Kabarole, who were ordered out of several major markets in the district last month, are angry that they have not be given alternative trading areas.

The traders in Karago, Rweihamba and Mugusu were ordered out of the markets to give room to banana traders. They were promised own markets to sell tones of Irish potatoes delivered from Kichwamba, Kisomoro and Ruteete sub-counties everyday.

Beatrice Katusabe, chairperson of the Irish Potato Traders Association in Karago Market, says that without stalls in the market traders have to part with a lot of money everyday to pay for space at centers markets further away.

Deborah Kunihiira, one of the traders in Karago, says the reason for the ejection of Irish potato traders was never properly explained and is unfair. She says she cannot afford to take her produce to Mpanga and Kabundaiire markets in Fort Portal town because of the high transport costs involved.

Dan Kiiza, a trader in Kichwamba, says he too does not understand why banana traders were given preferential treatment.

//Cue in: iI have been involved#i

Cue out: i#abandon this business.i//

The Kabarole District Agricultural Officer, Amos Mugume, says the Irish potato traders were asked to leave the markets because the banana traders are many more and the demand for bananas is higher. He says a market dedicated to Irish potato trade will be built next year.