Traders in Busia district are in profitable tomato business due to high demand amidst tomatoes scarcity.
The price of a full box of tomatoes has hiked from 200,000 shillings to 400,000 shillings, while a full basin of tomatoes is currently at 60,000 shillings from previous price of 20,000 shillings.
Traders also sell to a final consumer 5 tomatoes at 2,000 shillings up from 1,000 shillings while those in small sizes go for 1000 shillings (4 pieces of tomatoes) up from 500 shillings.
Rhona Nabudde, a tomato vendor at Arubaine market says that the price was hiked due to the scarcity, they are currently buying the tomatoes Buyinja in Mbale and Swam in Kapchorwa districts where farmers are over charging them.
They have currently suspended selling tomatoes for 500 shilling. The offers begin from 1000 shillings for the smallest amount. Nabudde however says that they expect the situation to normalize because they expect high production of tomatoes this season.
Caroline Sanyu, another tomatoes trader asked her clients to stop asking for tomatoes of between 200 and 500 shillings because they are no longer there on the market. Sanyu noted that to buy tomatoes on her stalls, a client must have 1000 shillings and above.
Brenda Nabwire, a resident in Busia town says that the situation has worsened to the extent that they no longer include tomatoes to spice the sauce due to the price.
Naphtali Ojambo, another resident says that he was surprised on failing to buy tomatoes at 500 shillings as he has always done. It’s embarrassing for him to take any sauce boiled but without tomatoes.
Ismael Gidudu Gudoyi, the chairman Arubaine market says that many traders have joined tomato business and are currently taking them to Kampala where they sell a full box of tomatoes at 500,000 shillings.
Gudoyi says they were depending on their clients from Kenya but the business was affected due to the lockdown.