The sales fell drastically from the time president Yoweri Museveni directed all non-essential businesses to close to encourage Ugandans to stay home and limit person to person contact. Although food stores and factories including grain millers remained operational in order to ensure that the people access what to eat, many of them are making losses with little or no sales.
Several grain millers in Luweero
town are stuck with tons of maize flour and animal feeds as sales dwindle in
the middle of lockdowns undertaken to contain the spread of coronavirus
The sales fell drastically from
the time president Yoweri Museveni directed all non-essential businesses to
close to encourage Ugandans to stay home and limit person to person contact. Although
food stores and factories including grain millers remained operational in order
to ensure that the people access what to eat, many of them are making losses
with little or no sales.
Ruth Namawejje, the Manager of
Africa Grain Millers in Luweero town says that before the COVID-19 pandemic,
they used to sell more than 10 tons of maize flour every day. Today, the they
only sell a ton a day. They equally used to sell a ton of feeds to poultry
farmers every day, but the feed purchases have also stopped a result of which
they have been forced to scale down.
//Cue in; “Embeera eriwo…
Cue out…family zabwe.”//
Dauda Kigwe, a staff at Lubega
Grain Millers in Luweero town says that they are currently stuck with over 20 tons
of maize flour which they had processed before the lockdown and they failed to
sale it. Kigwe says that currently they can only sale less than 150 kilograms
of maize flour per day which is too small.
Henry Mugwanya, the Manager of
Kyakuwa Grain Millers says that he used to sale at least eight tons per day but
in recent days he goes without a single order. Mugwanya says that before the
lockdown he had stocked over 150,000 kilograms of maize which is still in store.
He adds that they thought that
Task Forces on COVID may buy some maize flour from them but these have not
placed any order.
//Cue in; “There are people…
Cue out…six tonnes.”//
The prices of maize flour
registered a slight increase of 100 shillings per kilogram. The kilogram of
maize is sold at 1800-2000 Shillings from 1700-1900 before the lockdown.
Residents and local leaders say
the demand for maize flour is available but there is decline in purchasing
power following the closure of businesses. Patrick Ssenfuma, a resident of
Kavule zone says that he used to sell old clothes in market to get money to buy
maize flour but this is no longer possible.
Another resident Sarah Tumwesigye
says that because of lack of money to buy the maize flour, she has decided to
camp at Office of Resident District Commissioner for support.
//Cue in; “Nali ntunda…
Cue out…embeera mbi,”//
Flavia Nakitende the Luweero
Deputy Speaker asked the government to buy the maize flour from grain millers
and donate it to people because there is huge demand for it both in urban and
//Cue in: “people can’t…
Cue out..for that person”//
The Luweero Deputy Resident
District Commissioner Mariam Kagaiga Mugisha says that due to lack of money to
buy from food stores, many families frequent her office everyday asking for
food donations. She says that they are overwhelmed with demands and asked the
grain millers to donate some to such families as part of Corporate Social
Luweero District has distributed
food to over 2000 vulnerable families.