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Demand for ginger, lemons doubles in Gulu and Kampala

Lemon prices have more than doubled.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The demand for ginger and lemon has doubled within the different markets in Gulu city and Kampala.

With the belief by residents that lemons boost their immunity against the coronavirus (COVID-19), more people are now including lemons on their groceries shopping list.

Unlike before, in the past one week, dozens of people have been flocking Gulu main market, Cereleno, Olailong and Layibi markets within Gulu city demanding ginger and lemons.

Lakot Santa, a bitter lemon vendor at Cereleno market says that she is reaping big after her customers’ turn-up tripled since last week.

Lakot says that previously she would earn only between 4,000 and 5,000 Shillings a day, but now it has drastically increased to at least 20,000 Shillings.

“Business, lemon is selling good but if the lockdown persist,s it will go down because we receive our items from other districts. However, it is still good even tamarinds.”

Lakot currently sells four pieces of small lemons at 1,000 shillings and four big ones at 2,000 shillings as opposed to 500 and 1,000 shillings respectively before the COVID-19 upsurge.

Janet Piloya, another vendor in Cereleno market says that she currently receives more than ten customers who buy her lemons in bulk.

Her earnings have equally risen to more than 20,000 Shillings daily as opposed to 3,000 shillings previously.   However, Piloya says that current lucrative business is threatened by the ban on inter-district travels since most of her goods were brought from the Lango sub region.

Proscovia Akello of Cereleno market is also registering high lemon sale but also fears that the ban on inter-district travels will ground her business.

The other items which have tremendously gained sales during this period include ginger, onions and tamarinds.

Jackie Adure who sells ginger at Gulu main market says that she can raise at least 100,000 Shillings daily and more than 50 kilograms in only three days due to high demands from her customers.

Like other items, Adure has also been hit hard by the ban on inter-district travels and ban on public transport which has hiked prices of her commodities from Shillings 110,000 to 220,000 from her purchase point in Mbale City.

In several markets in Kampala, one lemon costs 1,000 shillings yet three months ago, the same amount could purchase ten to fifteen lemons. Four pieces of ginger cost 1,500 Shillings, and one bulb of garlic that used to cost 1,000 Shillings now costs 2,000 shillings.

Ronald Lubwama, a vendor at Kajjubi market in Kalerwe, says that he has abandoned selling passion fruits that are not on demand to selling lemons and ginger.

Steven Sejjuke, a ginger trader and vendor at Kalerwe market says that he has been able to sell his ginger due to the demand. He however adds that ginger is in scarcity on the market and that a kilogram goes for 3,000 shillings yet in the last month, it was sold at 2,000 shillings.

Hajji Ismail who sells lemons in Nakawa market attributes the high prices of lemon to the ban on inter-district travel. A large basket of lemons that were costing 80,000 Shillings in February has doubled to 160,000 shillings.

He also says before the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, only a handful of vendors were selling lemons because of low demand. He however says this has suddenly changed because of the increased demand for lemons.

A buyer identified as Musilaamu at Kalerwe market says that he would rather keep his body fit by engaging in physical exercises but not buy expensive lemon and ginger.

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