Farmers and Business communities in Rwentobo-Rwahi town Council in Rushenyi County in Ntungamo district are stuck with Onions due to a lack of market due to the importation of Onions from the neighboring countries.
Onion growing is one of the most lucrative agricultural enterprises in Rushenyi county in Ntungamo district and in the neighboring districts of Kabale, Kisoro, and Rukiga respectively. It is grown thrice a year, with high yields from even small pieces of land.
The farmers and Business community told our reporter that the importation of Onions from Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and other countries has largely affected local, and national markets and their household income.
They argue that Imported Onions are of a high breed with high demand in the market compared to the ones grown in the area. Most farmers in Rwentobo-Rwahi town council and other neighboring districts in Kigezi sub-region mostly grow Red Max, Superyali, Red coach, Kigutiya, Afri-Seed, and Bombo red types of onion.
Atwiine Nalongo Evalyne, Onion seller at Rwahi trading center says Imported Onions have left farmers stuck with unpaid loans due to a lack of market to sell their produce and recover loans invested during the growing season. Ms Stidia Tugumisirize, also an Onion seller from Rwamahwa in Rwentobo-Rwahi town council asked the government of Uganda to embrace the exportation of its own goods to foreign countries as a way of transforming the 39 percent of Ugandans from poverty into a money economy.
Mr. Ayebaziibwe Ivan Rutahwiire, Onion farmer from Rwakasanga cell, Katoma parish in Rwentobo-Rwahi town council revealed that currently One kilogram of Onions has been reduced from 4,000 shillings to 1,000 shillings. Rutahwiire attributed the drop in price to plenty of Onions in a competing market. However, Enid Busingye, a farmer from Katoma 111 in Kanyonza parish in Rwentobo-Rwahi town council said that Onions have rotted in gardens due to heavy rains in the area. Busingye also decried skyrocketing prices of pesticides used in spraying, resulting from the current economic crisis.
The secretary for Onion dealers at Rwahi trading center, Hillary Ainembabazi is calling upon the government of Uganda to provide a market for Onions in the Country for farmers and the Business community to benefit. Ainembabazi told our reporter that last season they used to sell a basin of Onion at 10,000/= but now due to the economic crisis and skyrocketing of commodities, a basin dropped to 8,000 shillings only.
In Uganda, Onion is a major vegetable widely consumed. It is consumed by almost all households on a daily basis and Uganda also supplies countries like South Sudan with onions. They have been used several times as the potential Vegetable crop to increase household incomes and provide work for women and youth.