UGANDA – Consumers in Mbale City, Uganda have expressed concern over a steep rise in bean prices driven primarily by the scarcity of beans, which has resulted in a limited supply, New Vision reports.

According to traders, stocks for the commodity have depleted amidst the overwhelming demand forcing them to resort to regional markets such as Tanzania.

According to market data, red beans known as kanyebwa which initially sold for between sh2500 to sh3000 currently retail at sh6000, white beans have risen from sh2000 to sh5400, while yellow beans previously selling at sh3000 go for sh5000.

However, traders decry the huge financial implication involved in cross-border trade owing to transportation and distribution costs, hence dealers in beans have been left with no choice but to price the product highly.

“This is business, and we need to recoup what we invest in, and that is why prices keep shooting up. But still, the take home is very minimal for us,” said Alex Wanasolo, a grain trader at Mbale Central Marke, adding that the scarcity has prompted many farmers to embrace planting since rains have started.  

According to Aisha Namataka, another trader dealing in grains, bean prices normally fluctuate based on seasonal factors such as planting and harvesting cycles, however, irregular pricing is largely to blame.

She pointed out that cross-border traders choose to set their prices, usually undermining the local producers, and that causes disruptions in the local bean supply chain hence increasing demand and reducing supply.

In addition, consumers prefer cross-border traders which has demotivated local farmers from producing the commodity.

My beans store is empty today because I cannot afford to transport grains from Tanzania to Uganda since that calls for a lot of money,” she noted.

Drought threatens cereal production in Acholi, Uganda

Meanwhile, farmers in the Acholi sub-region are anticipating poor harvests due to the scorching sunshine that they fear is affecting crops and will likely cause low yields in cereal crops.

Martin Okello, a farmer in Lamogi-ber village in Amuru district planted eight acres of rice but they are stunted due to a shortage of rain.

“We only received rainfall for a short time and that confused many farmers,” said Okello.

On the other hand, Denis Nyeko, another farmer in Guna village, Ongako sub-county in Omoro district, planted two acres of maize and he explained that the maize plantation is getting ruined due to too much sunshine.

According to farmers, weather patterns have changed and farmers should look out for climate-resilient crops to plant, should they want to stay afloat in the business.

Ben Ocan, a model farmer under Latanya Farmers’ Group urged farmers to turn to cassava which is more resistant to climate shocks.

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