Buikwe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Silverfish traders and processors at Kiyindi Landing site in Buikwe District have decried the drop in prices, partly as a result of the closure of the Uganda-Rwanda border.
Rwanda closed its border to Uganda earlier in February this year and also blocked its nationals from crossing into Uganda saying their security could not be guaranteed while they were in Uganda.
But the traders comprising of 40 women and 20 men operating under Kiyindi Women Fish Processors Association say that Rwanda offered the biggest market for silverfish from Kiyindi landing site, prior to the border closure. Currently, a basin of silverfish costs 25, 000 Shillings down from between 40, 000 and 50,000 Shillings last year.
Peruth Logose, the Association Chairperson explains that they are now struggling to find markets for their silverfish out of Uganda, forcing them to limit supplies to local supermarkets and animal feed processors.
She was speaking during the Fisheries day celebrations at Kiyindi Landing site, Buikwe District on Thursday.
Martha Nangobi, one of the silverfish traders says that they have tried to identify alternative markets in countries like South Sudan and Kenya but the prices are lower than what Rwanda offered.
Deogratius Kakembo, a fisherman at Kiyindi landing site notes that they are forced to give out silverfish to local traders on debt.
Dr John Walakira, a Senior Research Officer at the National Fisheries Resources Institute- (NaFIRRI) says they have reduced post-harvest losses of silverfish by 5 per cent from 30 per cent in a period of five years.
Meanwhile, Stella Mbabazi, a Fisheries Inspector in Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries-MAAIF, says they are trying to coordinate with various private partners and develop various technologies to ensure more market for the silverfish.