Robert Monday is wondering where he will get money to buy more seeds ahead of the planting season.
The farmer from Kabetemere in Kigarama, Bisheshe Division, Ibanda Municipality has so far only about five of the 15kg of beans he needs for his two gardens. This is after the prices of produce, including beans, rose by a big margin in Ibanda over the past two months.
Produce traders quote the retail price for green and short bean varieties at sh3,500 per kilogramme compared to sh2,300 during the first week of June. The price of yellow beans rose from sh2,500 in June to sh4,000 per kilo, and that of big white beans is at sh4,300, up from sh2,400 over the reporting period.
Nambale been variety is up by sh700 at sh3,000, while mixed beans go for sh2,500 per kilogramme, from sh1,700 during the first week of June.
Maize now ranges from sh1,700 to sh2,000 a kilo at produce stores in Ibanda town, from sh1,300 in June. The dealers currently buy the cereals from farmers at sh1,300- sh1,500 per kilo. Popcorn goes for sh2,400 at stores and sh2,000 when buying directly from farmers.
A kilo of dry cassava costs sh1,500, sorghum goes for sh1,700 and peas cost sh5,000 a kilo, while groundnuts are sold at sh5,200 for retail buying, up from sh4,800.
Godfrey Begumisa, the chairperson of Ibanda Produce Dealers Association, attributed the price increases to low supply, explaining that last season’s harvest was poor because of the dry spell that affected Ibanda and the neighbouring districts.
Begumisa projects that the prices would increase further with the onset of the planting season, and as schools stock foodstuffs for next term.
He added that most districts in the region lack grains, leaving buyers to compete for the little that is on the market, which has pushed up prices.