By George Bita
Although bean prices were high barely a month ago, the ongoing harvest season has of late led to a significant drop.
Sarah Mutesi , a bean grower at Bulange village in Namutumba district, narrated that fresh beans on market often push the price down.
“The dealers are now buying at between sh3,000 and sh4,000 from the farm gate. This makes them resale at a maximum of sh5,000,” Mutesi said.
When New Vision visited retail outlets in Busoga sub-region on Thursday, the bean prices had dropped by an average of sh2,000.
The yellow-coloured beans initially being retailed at sh7, 000 are now being sold at sh5, 000 at most shopping outlets.
Other types locally referred to as Kanyebwa and Nambaale are costing sh3, 500 down from sh5, 500 last month.
Elvis Tanaziraba, the Iganga Central Market chairman revealed that the retail price at stores was slightly below with retailers hiking to maximise profits.
Tanaziraba observed that even the fresh beans straight from gardens are on sale at a price of sh1, 000 per plastic cup or about sh2, 500 per kilogram even if they are still moist.
According to him, some customers prefer buying the fresh beans which do not take long to get ready hence not wasting wood fuel in cooking.
“The Nambaale and Kanyebwa types go for sh3, 000 at the stores then the retailers sell at a much higher price. Actually, the yellow ones are costing sh4, 500 at the stores that supply markets,” Tanaziraba said.
Musa Kasone, a farmer from Budooma village, Luuka district said the too much rain did not affect the beans production so much as had been anticipated hence the bountiful harvest in the sub-region.
Kasone added that if the rains had damaged the crop, the prices would still be high for some time due to scarcity of fresh produce.
Charles Kiwanuka, an urban farmer from Iganga municipality welcomed the boost in beans’ supply saying this has put a relief on most consumers who like preparing it as sauce.
“The schools are the best benefactors as they stock beans which make up the major meal for learners. Many must be stocking before the prices shoot up again,” Kiwanuka said.
Augustine Walwawo, a farmer from Namavundu B village, Kaliro district said the bean prices keep dropping whenever the farmers start harvesting.
“Unfortunately, unscrupulous dealers go ahead to hoard the produce causing artificial scarcity. This state of affairs inevitably leads to prices going up,” Walwawo said.