Prices for matooke, a staple food for people in Luwero town council have
increased over drought and hailstorms that have destroyed plantations.
A bunch of matooke that has been selling for 5000 shillings
now costs 15,000 shillings. The bunch that has been selling shillings for 15,000
now costs 35,000 shillings.
This is according to a survey conducted by the Uganda Radio Network (URN) Reporter in markets
of Kasana, Kasiiso roadside and Luwero Central Markets in Luwero town council. Traders
who used to sale bananas on bicycles across the town council are not seen any more because of the shortage
Deogratius Bukenya, the Chairperson of Luwero Central Market
says that during the weekend, they had no single bunch of matooke in the market
over shortage from farmers.
Bukenya says that
farmers in Luwero and Nakaseke districts were affected by drought
and hailstorm at the onset of rains leaving plantations destroyed.
He adds that traders have now resorted to look for bananas from
Western Uganda but these are bought at expensive costs which explains why
they have decided to increase their prices for consumers.
// Cue in: “Kuba amatooke…
Cue out;…eya Luwero”//
David Musisi, a matooke dealer at Kasiiso roadside market says
that he has spent five days without stock. Musisi says that now survives on his savings over the shortage
of banana harvests from farmers.
// Cue in: “Mazze ennaku…
Samuel Musoke, a farmer at Ndibulungi village in Buntumula
sub county says that in the past months he could produce 20 bunches of banana per
week but this drastically declined to less than 4 bunches because of the conditions.
The most affected farmers are from Kamira, Zirobwe, Kikyusa, Luwero, Makulubita, and Butuntumula which are the largest producers of the bananas. They were hit by drought from March to May whereas others suffered hailstorms in August.
Wilberforce Semigga the Luwero District Agriculture Officer
says that apart from drought and
hailstorms, there was low productivity in bananas in past years
something that has contributed to recurrent food insecurity.
Semigga says that with support from National Agricultural Advisory
Services, the district will distribute over 8000 banana tissue culture
plantlets to increase production and stop over-dependence in other districts.
David Kalungi the Luwero District Secretary For Production
says that apart from the donation of banana tissues culture plantlets, the
agriculture officers need to advise farmers to embrace modern farming to
mitigate the effects of drought on their plantations.
Cue in: “But what …
Cue out;…food shortage”//
// Cue in: “So tulina obuzibu
Cue out;..ekyuse nnyo.”//
Now consumers have opted for cassava, sweet potatoes, and maize
floor among others foodstuffs that have remained cheaper.
The bag of cassava costs only 45,000 shillings whereas sweet
potatoes costs between shillings 95,000-110,000 per bag and potatoes dropped from 200,000-150,000
shillings per bag.