MANAFWA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: Vegetable prices in Manafwa district have dropped by almost half in the past few weeks. A kilogram of tomatoes now costs Shillings 500 from Shillings 1500 while a sack of cabbages costs Shillings 15,000 from Shillings 50,000.
Vegetable farmers attribute the drop in prices to movement restrictions and closure of weekly markets as part of the containment measures against COVID-19. According to the farmers, traders from Mbale, Tororo, and Kampala among others can no longer move to Manafwa to buy their harvest.
Peter Matanda, a tomato farmer says that they have failed even to recoup the money they invested in producing the vegetables. They anticipate scarcity of vegetables in the near future since most of them would have made losses and abandoned the business.
Fred Wekesa, another farmer has asked the government to consider compensating them with farm inputs such as tomato seeds and fertilizers as they give relief to other people affected by the lockdown.
Samson Wamatabu, a farmer says that their produce is rotting away, adding that they don’t have hope of selling it. He says that some of the farmers got loans and may fail to service them if nothing changes.
Sam Muse, the Bukusu sub county LC III chairperson urged the farmers to cope with the current situation since the lockdown is intended to save lives so that they can produce in future.
Peter Henry Wotunya, the Manafwa Chief Administrative Officer has asked the farmers to exercise patience as they keep away from COVID-19 infection. He says the fall in prices is everywhere and has affected the country’s entire economy.
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