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Fruit Vendors in Kitgum Count Losses

Nabuzi says for more than six times, she had to throw away bananas worth 100,000 shillings that had started rotting on her stall as a result of low sales.
Ripe Bananas decaying at one of the stalls in Kitgum Municipality. Photo By Julius Ocungi

Audio 2

Several fruit vendors in Kitgum Municipality are counting heavy losses as they experience an abnormal fall in demands for their products.

The most affected are vendors dealing in bananas. Fauza Nabuzi, a banana vendor in Central Division says that the fall in demand has left her goods rotting away.

Nabuzi says for more than six times, she had to throw away bananas worth 100,000 shillings that had started rotting on her stall as a result of low sales. She believes the anomaly is a result of the COVID-19 lockdown directives issued by the government to curb the spread of contagion in the country, leaving many residents with the limited financial capability to spend on consumables.

Luo

//cue in: “Lok me business…

Cue out:… tiye ka bale.”//

Nabuzi says she hardly make shillings 20,000 daily unlike before COVID-19 pandemic when sales were flourishing with many customers.

Aisha Nabukwasi, another vendor says the COVID-19 lock-down has greatly impacted on their businesses. She says the low sales have forced her to lower prices to enable them to sell off their stocks faster leaving them in losses.

According to Aisha, four fingers of bananas which cost shillings 2,000 in the past are now being sold at paltry shillings 1,000.

//cue in: “This business of…

Cue out:…just get rotten.”//

Richard Moses Jimeyi , the Bantu Community Chairperson in Kitgum district says several fruit vendors who hail from Eastern and Central Uganda have lost their capital as a result of low sales and resorted to petty farming within the Municipality.

Jimeyi says daily, each vendor disposes of rotten bananas worth 10,000 and 30,000 shillings. 

He notes that their troubles have also been further worsened by lack of gazetted market space for fruit vendors saying majority operate along the roadside.

Luo

 

//cue in: “Business tiye matek…

Cue out:… transport ma iculu.”//

He notes that they plan to sit down with the vendors and evaluate how they can make profits from their businesses by lowering bulk purchase from suppliers in Mbale district.

//cue in: “We need to…

Cue out:…are too much.”//

Kitgum Municipality has a total of 40 registered fruit vendors dealing in Ripe bananas, avocados, passion fruit, pineapple and jack fruit among others.