By Moses agaba
Onion farmers from the district of Rukiga have decried the increased international markets of onions that has greatly affected their local market at different sales points amidst the heavy rains destroying the crop’s quality and the increasing prices of commodities such as pesticides.
Farmers that include enid Tusingwire , Stedia Tumwesigye,Evelyne Nalongo and Ivan Ayebazibwe they say that onions exported to the Ugandan market that is produced from countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have much affected the local market and led to a huge loss in Ugandan-produced onions. This has caused a sharp decrease in the prices of onions bringing down a kilogram from Ugx 4.000 to Ugx 1.500 and a plot of onions that was previously sold Ugx 500.000 is currently being negotiable between 150. 000 to Ugx 200.000 s something they claim has hindered their ability to pay back loans they use in their business.
These farmers have also faced an issue of increased commodity prices that have affected their productivity, where pesticides that were initially bought at 3500 have increased by 1000shillings and those of 5000shings by 2000shillings amidst the reduction of prices in the produced onions.
Farmers say that they had hoped of using this season for increased productivity but all this is in vain due to the continuous production of onions from other countries and increased commodity prices thus calling for the government to intervene.
Onions in Rukiga district are mostly grown in areas Karorwa and Nyakasiro in Bukinda Sub-county, Ibumba, Kahama, and Kahanda in Rwamucucu sub-county, and Nyakitabire in Muhanga Town Council.