Lucky Akello, one of the vendors in Kalongo market told Uganda Radio Network that there has been limited supply of onions by their suppliers for the past weeks. She says unlike in the past when they used to get onion supplies on a daily basis from various suppliers, only a few of them supply them once a week or at times even after two weeks.
Onion prices have shot up in markets within
Acholi Sub-region. In Kalongo Market in
Kalongo Town Council, a kilogram of onions now goes for 6,500 Shillings up from
Lucky Akello, one of the vendors in Kalongo
market told Uganda Radio Network that there has been limited supply of onions over the past weeks. She says unlike the past when
they used to get onions on a daily basis from various suppliers, only a
few of them have maintained supply during the lockdown, yet they are also not consistent.
Akello says that limited supply coupled with high demand from
consumers have seen a sharp rise in the prices of onions. Susan Amito,
another vendor says that some vendors have resorted to hoarding onions to create
scarcity and in the end sell at higher prices as they take advantage of
John Wilfred Ocen, the Chairperson Business Community in
Kalongo Town Council notes that few farmers in the area have taken on onion
farming, a reason they are registering the current scarcity. Ocen notes that most onions traded in the area are supplied
from outside the district. He encouraged locals to take on growing onions and
tomatoes owing to their lucrative markets.
At Tuma Atoo Market in Central Division, Kitgum Municipality,
vendors are selling a Kilogram of onion between Shillings 5,500 to 6,600
shillings up from 4,500 Shillings.
A vendor who declined to be named told Uganda
Radio Network in an interview that supply from eastern Uganda has been limited
ever since the government issued lock-down directives.
In Amuru district,
many households have abandoned spicing food using onions due to its abnormal
price hike and scarcity. For instance, in Lajalula market in Amuru Sub County, Amuru
district, a piece of onion costs 1,000 Shillings up from 4,000
previously while in Pabbo Town council, a kilogram of onion now costs
6,000 from 3,000 Shillings.
Irene Auma, who deals in onion in Lajalula market, says the
least amount they can sell a kilogram of onion is Shillings 6000 up from Shillings
3500. She explained that onion dealers have been greatly affected by the
ban on public transport as a means to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
Auma noted that they were previously buying
onions from traders in Panyimur in Pakwach district, Pabbo Town Council and
Gulu Town who also were buying it at subsidized prices from Mbale district.
Betty Akello, another resident of the area, says her family has abandoned
cooking food with onions.
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“The prices of onion have shot up so high here, it’s two
weeks now that we haven’t seen onion being supplied, the suppliers are no
longer bringing them. We can’t get it easily from the markets where we used to
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc