A small bunch is at sh30,000 while sh1,000 will get you a paltry four or five fingers.
LATEST MARKET PRICES
By Ruth Nanfuka
It’s fair to say that several consumers in and around Kampala have had to omit the likes of matooke (green bananas) and Irish potatoes from their shopping lists.
Reason? These food items are very expensive at the moment!
Sudais Tamale, a market attendant in Nakasero Market, attributes the hike in matooke prices to the season.
He says that currently, a big bunch of the local staple goes for sh40, 000 – double the amount it used to cost previously. And that’s when the supply is good. If the supply dips, the price shoots.
A small bunch is at sh30,000 while sh1,000 will get you a paltry four or five fingers. When times were better, a buyer would get ten or more fingers for sh1,000. These are not such times however.
Juliet Nalukenge, who deals in the matooke trade at Mpererwe Market points at the recent dry spell. "The long sunny season that just ended affected the growth of matooke, but after the rainy season is over, we expect the supply to be in abundance.”
It’s worse in other markets like Matugga and Mpererwe, where matooke prices are hitting the roof – they go for as much as sh60,000 for a large bunch.
While the children might wonder why they don’t see matooke or Irish potatoes on their plates anymore, the adults know better. And one such person is Atuhaire, a resident of Matugga, who says she had to forego matooke during the Easter festivity because “I just could not afford it”.
Irish potatoes and matooke follow the same script. Local chips (fries) makers will feel the pinch, so don’t wonder why you are getting fewer chips in your pack than previously.
Proscovia Nakirijja is an Irish potato trader. She differentiates Irish potatoes according to the different places they are grown.
"We have Kisoro, Kabale, Kenya and Mbale; and these are mostly purchased by chips makers because of their hard nature".
A sack of Irish potatoes costs between sh180,000 and sh200, 000. A large size tin is at sh20,000 while a small one goes for sh15,000.
Oh, and a basin is at sh50,000.