Vendors count losses, consumers paying heavily  as shortage of cabbage, tomatoes hit Adjumani markets

(Last Updated On: 7 March 2023)

Vendors in Awindinri market in Adjumani district dealing in the sale of cabbages and tomatoes have spent three weeks without receiving the supply.

The vendors have attributed the decline in supply to the prolonged drought which has resulted in the increased prices of cabbage and tomatoes in the market.

Ms. Iren Batio, a single mother who is one of the sellers in the above market said she has spent all her capital because, in a space of three weeks, she had to spend the money which remained idle, adding that she got a loan from her group and even paying back the loan has become difficult.

“I used to have a capital of shs2 million and I could buy 2 tons of cabbage at shs800,000 to shs1 million each but right now the cost has gone to shs1.6 million I now have less than one million as capital,” Batio lamented.

Batio suggests that due to climate change, they are willing to acquire land to start growing their cabbages and request the government to support them with mini irrigation systems so that they can grow crops throughout the year.

“We are willing to start with a demonstration farm if the government can support us because we now understand the seasons very well,” Batio said.

Another single mother, Ms. Zakia Musa who is taking care of 8 children said she has been buying one ton of cabbage which she has been selling to finance all her domestic requirements and even pay school fees.

“I have lost my capital, I cannot afford to buy 1 ton as I used to do, I used to buy and sale spent the profit to buy food for my children, but now I can not do that,” Zakia noted

Ms. Aisha Ayikoru, a tomato vendor said in the past she was buying a box of tomatoes at shs 150,000 but right now, she said a box is sold at shs400,000.

Aisha notes that supply has also reduced and she has also increased to recover her capital and continue in the same business. 

Ms. Aisha Ayikoru arranged for her tomatoes ready for sale. Photo by Marko Taibot/TND News.

Ms. Anim Dramuke Ashraf Ijotre Juma has been supplying these vendors. She said she gets the cabbage from Kapchorwa district and Kisoro district.

“Generally, the prices have shot up from where I used to buy, when I hire a big truck it will cost shs 7 million to deliver to the vendors in Awindiri, in a small truck it will cost me shs5 million and a medium size truck will charge me shs6 million,” she told TND News’ Marko Taibot.

Ms. Martina Unzia, a consumer who had come to purchase cabbages and other items in the Awindiri market said the burden of all this is left on them as they buy expensively.

“One big piece of cabbage that used to be shs2000 has gone to shs7,000,” Unzia said.

The Kapchorwa District Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Mr. Musa Ismail Onzu, in a telephone interview, did confirm that the price of cabbage has gone up in the district due to the high demand from other districts.

“Farmers used to sell a full truck at shs3.5 million but right now it is at shs6 million, we have supported the small-scale farmers with mini irrigation projects and that is why the production has continued but the impact of climate change in other regions has made the demand to go high,” Onzu stated.

The study contacted by Palm Corps, a local Nongovernmental Organization based in West Nile with support from Ayudan en Accion notes that the West Nile sub-region losses close to shs11 billion to other regions annually. This loss represents 71.3% because of tomatoes imported from other regions.

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