FOOD prices have started falling in most parts of the country following the onset of the harvesting season.
Generally, the prices of fresh foods, fruits and vegetables have fallen, while those of dried foods have remained high. Experts predict that the prices will continue falling until August.
A Saturday Vision team brings you the trends. In Kampala, the greatest price drop is for matooke. A big bunch that cost sh25,000 two months ago, now costs between sh18,000 and sh20,000.
Moses Ssali, a matooke trader, attributes the change to the harvest season in Masaka and Mbarara.
Rita Kusasira, a market solutions officer with FIT Uganda Limited, says cassava, sweet and irish potatoes have also registered price cuts.
A heap of four to six sweet potatoes or cassava costs between sh1,000 and 2,000 and a katasa (large bowl) of Irish potatoes has dropped to sh5,000 from sh7,000.
Ronald Kimera, a trader at St. Balikuddembe market, says the supply of fresh beans and peas has increased. A kilo of fresh peas costs between sh5,000 and sh6,000, while fresh beans are at sh2,500 to sh3,000 per kilo.
Prices of dry beans, like Nambale and the yellow ones, cost sh1,600-sh1,800 and sh2,200 sh2,600 per kilo, respectively.
Markets are also awash with fruits. A heap of 10 mangoes costs between sh500 and sh1,000, while a reasonably-sized pineapple costs sh1,000. A big watermelon now costs sh2,000 from sh5, 000, while the small ones are going for sh1,000. Green pepper and eggplants are aplenty and a heap costs as little as sh500.
On the other hand, Kusasira affirms that the prices of dry foods, such as maize flour, ground nuts and rice are rising. A kilo of maize flour costs between sh1,900 and sh2,200, rice costs sh2,800 and sh3,500, while a kilo of gnuts cost sh4,500. Kusasira blames it on scarcity of the items and high fuel prices that have affected their transportation. Besides, most cereals are harvested in July.
The supply of fresh produce from Bududa, Sironko, Manfawa districts is bringing down commodity prices.
Irish potatoes that cost sh800 per kilo in March have dropped to sh700, while beans have dropped from sh1,700 to sh1,500 per kg.
Tomatoes dropped to sh2,000 from sh2,500 per kilo, while onions have remained at sh1,500.
However, maize flour has risen to sh1,700 per kilo from sh1,500. Traders are blaming the rains that have made it difficult to dry the maize.
Rice costs between sh2,500 and sh3,000 per kilo. Beef shot from sh4,000 in March to sh6,000 due to the quarantine in Teso sub-region.
A kilo of Kaiso rice is at sh2,200 from sh2,500, while Super costs between sh2,000 and sh3,000 per kg. A kilo of cassava flour is at sh700, down from sh1,000 and millet flour is at sh1,000 from sh1,200.
A basinful of sweet potatoes is at sh2,600 from sh3,500, while Irish potatoes cost sh800 from sh1,000 per kilo.
A kilo of dry beans is at sh2,000 from sh2,800 while a kilo of fresh beans is at sh1,400 from sh2,000.
On the other hand, the prices of maize flour are rising. A kilo of high quality flour now costs sh2,000 from sh1,700, while the low quality one goes for sh1,800 from sh1,400.
Traders interviewed in Bugiri Central Market were optimistic prices are likely to continue falling, especially if the rains continue falling.
A large bunch of matooke is now at sh8,000 from sh15,000 and the medium one goes for sh3,000. Sugar has reduced to sh2,600 from sh2,800. However, the prices of other foodstuffs have remained high.
In Kabandaire market, rice has increased from sh2,500 last month to sh3,000, a bunch of matooke has gone up to sh18,000 from sh14,000. At Njara market, matooke has shot up to between sh20,000 and sh25,000 from sh15,000.
The increasing matooke prices, have been attributed to the high demand in Kampala, Kasese and Bundibugyo.
A heap of four to five green peppers went up to sh1,500 from sh1,000 in Mpanga market. In the same market, a kilo of beans now cost between sh2,500 and sh3,000 up from sh2,200. A small basket of fresh peas has risen to sh2,500 from sh1,500. A heap of onions, carrots and tomatoes has increased from sh1,000 to sh2,000.
A kilo of ground nuts now costs between sh4,500 and sh6,000 from sh3,500, while sugar has risen to sh3,500 from sh2,500 per kilo. The price of a small pineapple in Kabundaire has increased from sh2,000 to sh2,500, while a big one costs sh4,000 from sh3,000. In Mpanga, pineapple prices have increased from sh3,000 to sh5,000 respectively. In Kisenyi, pineapples cost between sh2,500 and sh3,000, up from sh1,500 to sh2,000.
Water melon has increased from sh4,000 to sh5,000 in Kabundaire market, in Mpanga market it has gone up from sh6,000 to sh8,000, while in Kisenyi it has remained constant at sh5,000.
Prices of many essential commodities have increased. For instance, bar soap now costs between sh3,000 and sh3,200 up from sh2,500.
Food prices in Gulu are increasing due to scarcity and transport costs, about two months ahead of the first harvest season.
At Gulu main market, a bunch of matooke which used to cost between sh13,000 and sh25,000 two months ago now costs between sh15,000 and sh30,000.
Groundnuts have gone up from sh4,500 to sh5,000 per kilo. Maize flour has gone up from sh1,500 to sh2,000 per kilo, while rice has shot to between sh3,500 and sh3,800 from sh2,600-sh3,000.
Tomatoes, which used to cost between sh300 and sh1,000, is now at between sh500 and sh1,000 per heap.
According to traders at the main market, the prices of simsim have remained constant at sh3,000 per kilo, potatoes and cassava at sh500 and sh1,000 per heap.
Onion dealers have decried the fall in prices from sh2,500 per kilo in the last three months to sh2,000.
Stories by John Semakula, Agnes Kyotalengerire, Daniel Edyegu, Abdulkarim Sengendo, Hope Mafaranga and Cornes Lubangakene
Food prices going down