Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Butchers and food vendors in Luwero town have decried low sales this Christmas. At least 70 head of cattle were slaughtered in Luwero town council central market on Friday morning for the Christmas festivities.
Currently, a kilogram of beef costs between Shillings 14,000 and 15,000 up from between Shillings 12,000-13,000 on normal days. A kilogram of offals and liver costs Shillings 7000 and Shillings 15,000 respectively.
A kilogram of goat meat is going from between Shillings 17,000 and 20,000. However, unlike the previous Christmas seasons, butchers in Luwero Central are wearing long faces due to low sales.
Abdullah Ssekitoleko the Vice-Chairperson of Luweero Central market butchers’ association, says that despite the slight price increase given the prevailing economic situations, they have only managed to attract a few buyers compared to past Christmas seasons.
Ssekitoleko told URN that several butchers were yet to sell most of the meat by midday compared to past Christmas seasons. Mustapha Kizito, a butcher told URN on Thursday afternoon that he had only sold beef to 20 buyers with each of them buying less than a kilogram of beef. According to Kizito, in the previous seasons, he could sell a cow by midday.
Derrick Katamba, another butcher told URN that he had sold only five out of the 100 kilograms of meat that he placed on his stall in the morning. Katamba says that this is the worst Christmas for him in the last 15 years as a butcher in the market.
Some meat consumers interviewed by URN say that they are unable to buy much as they desire due to poverty resulting from the prolonged COVID-19 restrictions and the planned school reopening.
Denis Opio, a resident of Luwero town, says that he has managed to buy only three out of the usual five kilograms this Christmas. Opio explains that he scaled down on all items for Christmas because he is saving money to pay fees for learners who are returning to school on January 10th, 2022.
Hamidu Kawooya, another resident said that he only afforded four out of the desired 10 kilograms of meat for his family because of restriction, which affected his income.
Deogratius Bukenya, the Chairperson of Luwero Central Market, says that other buyers decried the high price of beef and other foodstuffs yet they are also struggling with the lockdown effects. Bukenya explained that the increment in beef prices was a result of high transport costs and scarcity of animals.
Other items like bananas are selling at between Shillings 15,000 and20,000 per bunch whereas a bag of sweet potatoes is going for Shillings 170,000 up from Shillings 150,000. A box of tomatoes is going for Shillings 240,000 up from Shillings 150,000.
Chickens cost between Shillings 15,000 and 30,000 depending on the breed and size whereas a kilogram of fish is going for Shillings 15,000.