A drastic decline in prices of matooke (East African Highland bananas) has frustrated growers from parts of Ankole, one of the biggest producers of the fruit.
Matooke production has over the years transformed livelihoods across the region, with more people depending on the food crop to earn a living, a story which is almost similar in the areas of Buhweju, Bushenyi, Ibanda, Isingiro, Kiruhura, Mbarara, Ntungamo Rubirizi and Rwampara, among others.
But many of the farmers are now struggling as the cost of a bunch of Matooke hit the lowest mark going for as low as 2,000 Shillings from 15,000 to 25,000 before the lockdown.
The growers have stated that although the price drops are expected during the peak harvest season running from June to August, the drop this year is unprecedented.
Annet Natukunda Kitende, a Banana trader at Kasana Market said that this is the biggest drop she has witnessed for the last four years that she has been in the business. Natukunda says that she now buys a bunch of Matooke at 1,000 Shillings from the farmer and sells it between 2,000 to 4,000 Shillings to the consumer.
[ 100 Shillings = € 0,024 ]