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Commodity Prices Ease As Fresh Produce Hits Markets

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Stephen Nuwagira 

The new crop harvest coming to the market has provided some relief to buyers with a range of produce items experiencing price drops for the month ending June 5. Some varieties of beans lost more than sh1,000 in value over the reporting period – May 3 to June 5. 

A mini-survey by New Vision indicates that the price of mixed beans is between sh3,200-3,500 per kilogramme in Ibanda town, lower than sh4,500-4,800 at the beginning of May. The farm-gate price for mixed beans is sh3,000. 

White beans (big) cost sh5,000 a kilo compared to sh6,000 on May 3. Produce dealers quoted yellow, short and green bean varieties at sh4,200, indicating a drop from sh5,000 a month ago. 

A kilogramme of groundnuts ranges from sh4,500-6,000, showing a decline from sh7,000-8,000 during the first week of May. Local groundnuts (new crop) are at sh6,000-6,500 per kilo and those from Koboko cost sh4,500 lower than sh7,500 over the reporting period, the mini­-survey shows. 

Dry cassava is also down and trades at 2,300 per kilo compared to sh2,500, while unsorted millet costs sh2,400 and sorted goes for sh3,000, and sorghum is at sh2,400 compared to sh2,500. According to traders, the cereals shed value due to low demand. 

Maize gained sh200 over the reporting period and currently costs sh1,800 at produce stores in Ibanda, while farmers pocket sh1,650 per kilogramme. 

Though nearly all the produce items shed value over the past month, dealers project the prices to inch higher by next month because of the poor harvest this season, especially for beans. 

Godfrey Begumisa, the Ibanda Produce Dealers Association chairman, says the current crop was devastated by the weather vagaries, with beans affected by the long rains and later drought that scorched them. 

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