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Bunyoro livestock farmers irked by low prices

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Livestock farmers in the Bunyoro sub-region are crying foul following the fall in prices of livestock in the region.

According to the farmers, currently they are selling their animals at cheaper prices since there are no buyers available for them.

The aggrieved farmers say they have been left with no option but to sell their livestock to buyers who are willing to buy at lower prices.

At Buseruka livestock market in Hoima district, farmers are struggling to find fair prices for their animals due to the low offer prices.

Fred Tumwine, a farmer in Buseruka sub county Hoima district says a cow that would cost 2 Million Shillings in the past now goes for 1.2 Million Shillings.

He says the Ministry of Agriculture efforts to develop farming are not sufficient because they are still struggling to find a market for their livestock.

Joseph Kabindi, a cattle farmer in Masindi says buyers who used to come from different parts of the country to buy animals in the region have stopped prompting the animal prices to fall.

He says at the moment, maintaining livestock during this dry season is a challenge due to scarcity of water and pasture. Godfrey Baguma, a farmer in Kikuube district says many livestock farmers are finding it difficult to purchase drugs for their animals since they don’t want to sell their animals cheaply.

John Ankunda, a farmer in Bugoigo, Buliisa district says it is not just cattle prices that have fallen, but also goat prices. He says a goat which was previously sold at 200,000 Shillings has dropped to between 80,000 and 100,000 shillings.

Joseph Kasangaki, a cattle buyer in Kagadi district says most of them were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic that compelled them to spend all the money they had in their possession making it difficult for them to continue transacting the business even when the government reopened the livestock markets.

Molly Kababiito, operating a restaurant in Hoima town wonders why butchers have continued to hike meat prices despite the fall in livestock prices.

She says currently a kilogram of meat is costing 14,000 shillings up from 10,000 shillings.

Vincent Katulinde, a butcher operating in Kiganda, Hoima City says though the prices of livestock have fallen, the demand for meat is high prompting them to hike meat prices from 10,000 shillings to 14,000 shillings a kilo especially during this festive season. He is however optimistic that the meat prices will reduce after the festive season.

The Bugahya County Member of Parliament Pius Wakabi says though the government is aware of the plight of livestock farmers in the area, the situation could leave many farmers in his county discouraged calling upon the government to find solutions to the farmers’ grievances.

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