Cooperatives & CommunitiesEast AfricaNews

Gulu agro-input dealers run out of stock as lockdown continues

Agro-input stocks in Gulu district are running low following the ban on public transportation as one of the measures to control the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

Two weeks ago, President Museveni ordered the closure of shops dealing in non-essential goods, to minimize crowding that is believed to facilitate the spread of the novel Coronavirus. 

Although dealers in agricultural inputs were allowed to continue operating in order to support the agricultural sector which employs 70% of Ugandans, agro-input dealers in Gulu say they are running out of basic supplies amid high demand.

Irene Aryemo, the owner of Lapur pe Tur Agro-Input shop, said the inputs that are most in-demand are maize and vegetable seeds, herbicides, hoes, ox ploughs, pangas and watering cans. However, she has not received stock from her suppliers for the last two weeks.

“Demand for farm implements is very high at the moment, but most suppliers have closed their business because of lack of transport,” Aryemo said.

Bob Odongo a dealer in ox- ploughs, said his consignment has gotten stuck in Kenya, because of the closure of the border.

The scarcity of supplies has precipitated an increase in the prices of some farm inputs.

Juliet Auma, the proprietor of Gang Pur Farm Input shop, said that the increase in prices has scared away some of her clients and made it difficult for her to make reliable business forecasts.

“A box containing 25 pieces of hoes that formerly cost Shs 190,000 now goes for Shs 230,000. If I buy it at this price, it means that I have must also sell at a higher price than the usual, yet people are spending cautiously,” she explained.

  “This is a very drastic price increase that is risky for business. What if I buy now, only for the situation to normalize in two weeks and prices drop? That would mean a loss for me,” she argued. 

The shortage of inputs is also affecting farmers who say they are stranded without them.

Daniel Ojok, a farmer in Lajwatek Village in Koro Sub-county, said much as the presidential directives allowed farming to continue, he lacks the implements to begin planting.

“I have already opened an acre to plant maize, but I do not have the seeds yet, because they are not on the market,” he said.

The Chief Administrative Officer, of Gulu district, Geoffrey Okaka confirmed that while farm inputs are among the essential goods and services, access to them has been affected by the lockdown.

He advised the dealers to present their issue to the office of the Resident District Commissioner for further guidance. According to the presidential directives in the fight against the novel Coronavirus, RDCs, together with District Health Officers (DHOs) are tasked with coordinating all activities in the district.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button