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Busia fishmongers hike price amidst scarce fish supply

Fishmongers at Busia fish market are currently facing scarcity in supply from landing sites

Busia, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Fish prices have shot up in Busia resulting from a huge drop in supply. Apparently, the fish supply has dropped from over 20 metric tons each day to less than 8 metric tons.

As a result, a kilogram of fresh fish from the lake costs Shillings 9,500 up from Shillings 8,500, and a kilogram of fresh cage fish costs Shillings 9,000 up from Shillings 7,500 previously. A piece of small dried fish ranges between Shillings 4,500 and Shillings 5,000 compared to between Shillings 2,500 to 3,500 in the past few months.

Eddy Wadenga, a fresh fishmonger at Busia fish market says that they are currently facing scarcity of supply from landing sites because of increased demand. He says that they have opted to buy and sell pond and cage fish, which they source from Hoima, Jinja, Buikwe, Kalangala and Wakiso districts among others.

Juma Yakut, another fishmonger says that the situation worsened when fish started dying in the lake. Fred Kirya, another fishmonger says that the scarcity of fish has forced many of their colleagues out of business because most of the fish farmers prefer to sell their fish directly in the market.

Issa Wachambe attributes the fish scarcity to the deployment of Uganda People’s Defence Force-UPDF and Marine Forces on the lake to stop illegal fishing practices which he says has scared away fishermen.

James Makokha, a resident says the increased prices have forced him to abandon buying fish for his family of 13 members. According to Makokha, he needs not less than 30,000 to buy fish for his family that he cannot afford. Michael Wandera, another resident says that he forgot about eating fish three weeks ago due to the high prices.

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