Patrick Omona, the Vice-Chairman Gulu City Livestock and Butchery Cooperative Saving, and Credit said they have decided to increase the price to make some profit. He said that at least a cow costs’ on the market is Shs 1 million. Meanwhile, a kilogram of beef (meat) which sold for Shs 12,000 before the lockdown has climbed to between Shs 14,000 and Shs 16,000.
People in Gulu are struggling to feed their families as food prices soar, spurred largely, by the second national lockdown and ban on inter-district movement and cattle markets.
Essential food prices and commodities have nearly doubled, according to people interviewed for this story.
In Gulu Main Market, the price of about 65 to 70 pieces of ginger, measuring a little less than four inches each, have soared to Shs 200,000 up from Shs 130,000.
A kilogram of garlic goes for Shs 7,000 up from Shs 2,200 while watermelons have disappeared from the shelves.
Jackie Adure, a market vendor at Gulu Main Market told the Cooperator in a recent interview that, “We have lost supplies from Kampala but the problem again is that our local farmers haven’t taken advantage here to produce them,” Adure explained.
“We were operating at a loss because we would only get about Shs 900,000 from the sale of meat, which is much lower than what we spend to buy it,” Omona said.
Geoffrey Akera, a butcher at Lacor trading Centre, said the closure of auctions largely to curtail the spread of the coronavirus has cut off supplies of animals for slaughter.
Jenifer Oyella, a food vendor in Laroo, said the current food prices in the markets have affected her restaurant business.
“I attempted to increase the prices of my local dishes and suddenly I lost customers and now I have suspended the operation until the situation becomes normal,” Oyella added.
Surprisingly, while prices of other commodities have nearly doubled in the district, beans prices have dipped.
At Cereleno Market in Gulu City, a kilogram of beans dropped by Shs 500 from Shs 2,500 while a bag of beans in the villages has fallen from Shs 180,000 to Shs 130,000 currently.