Tue. Nov 12th, 2019

Uganda: Extended dry season drives food prices up

The dry season has seen prices of various foodstuffs increase thereby making consumers get less food for the same basket around the country.

Joseph Luyima, a farmer in Kayunga district dealing in beans and tomatoes says has lost most of his crops due to the intense heat of the dry season.

“There is a limited supply of foodstuffs on the market and the absence of rain has left most of the crops damaged,” said Luyima.He is not alone.
Joselyn Bajagala a retailer in Ggaba a city suburb says the price of various has continued to rise due to the offset of the rains.

A bunch of matooke costs between sh30000 and sh35,000 from between sh25000 and sh32000. A sack of Irish potatoes costs sh150,000 from sh100,000 previously.

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A sack of charcoal costs sh70,000. Maize flour rose from sh70,000 to sh100,000 for a 50kg bag.
A survey conducted around different markets indicates that beans cost sh4000 per kilo having cost sh3000 previously.
For sh2000, one can only purchase seven tomatoes and three tomatoes cost sh1,000. For sh5000, a person can purchase about 15 tomatoes.

The price increase was largely driven by monthly vegetable inflation. Photo by Rachael Nabisubi
“The prices of various foodstuffs have increased due to the dry season. We hardly make any profits from the sales,” Bajagala said.

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for February 2019, there was an increase in the monthly headline inflation due to monthly food crops and related items inflation that registered a 2.1% increase in February 2019 from the 0.4% recorded in January 2019.
The report by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics says the increase was largely driven by monthly vegetable inflation that increased by 4.0% in February 2019 from the 1.0% recorded in January 2019.

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CPI measures the price movement of goods and services over a given period.
Frida Katono, a juice seller says that at sh1000, she only gets two small passion fruits and four big ones cost sh2,000. Previously, she would get at least five pieces for sh2000.

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“I can no longer supply juice to all my customers. I only cater to five out of my 10 clients. I usually prefer the small type of passion fruits because they produce better-concentrated juice than the bigger ones,” Katono said.

The hot and dry conditions have prevailed over the country despite earlier predictions that March-May rainy season would start in the last week of February.
A statement by the Uganda National Meteorological Authority indicated that the disruption of the rain was caused by tropical cyclone Idai that diverted the rain making winds from Uganda to the Mozambique Channel.

Source: newvision.co.ug

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