KABALE – Butchers operating at Kabale Police Barracks playground in Central Division have hiked meat prices following quarantine imposed on the movement of pigs and related products within the district.
Two weeks ago, over 70 pigs died of a strange disease which forced the district authorities led by the Kabale District Veterinary Officer Bernard Kabagambe to send samples to the National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Centre in Entebbe.
The samples which were returned last week on Tuesday, September 3, tested positive of African swine fever.
An investigation and exclusive interview with our reporter revealed that the butchers hike in meat price was prompted by their relocation from Kabale Central market to Kabale Police Barracks playground as part of the process to pave way for the planned reconstruction of a new market under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program – MATIP III.
The market is set to be constructed at a cost of 24 Billion Shillings with funding from the African Development Bank-ADB and the government.
They claim that the abattoir has been near to Kabale Central market and they now have to incur 5000 to 10000 shillings to transport the meat to their new lockups.
The butchers says that a kilogram of beef is now at 12,000 up from 10,000 shillings while a kilogram of goats meat costs between 14,000 and 15,000 up from 12,000 shillings.
Richard Sunday, a butcher at new lock-up number 6 says that they now incur more costs to transport meat from the abattoir to their lockups.
Mr. Sunday says that they have been paying 1000 for those transporting meat to their lock-ups in the Central Market but they now pay between 5000 to 10,000 shillings to their new place.
“We have always found it less costly in transporting meat from the abattoirs to our locks but now the cost is high, we cannot keep the prices we’ve been selling at yet we are incurring much in ensuring that we serve our customers,” narrated Mr. Sunday to justify the hike.
Anthony Muhangi, another butcher says that the price for goats meat and beef have both been increased since more customers are coming following the outbreak of the African swine fever.
Mr Muhangi who is also the Kabale Municipality Slaughterhouse tenderer says that they have been slaughtering between 18 to 20 goats every day before the outbreak of African swine fever, but they now slaughter around 37 to 45 goats on a daily basis.
“Now that pork joints are no longer operational, many people have turned to goats’ meat and beef since it’s the only escape zone to enjoying their meals,” noted Mr. Muhangi.
Samuel Kyomukama alias Uncle Sam operating at lockup number 7 says that following the quarantine imposed on the movement of pigs and its products in the district, the demand for goat’s meat shot up since those people who were engaging in selling pigs and those operating pork joints have resorted to goats.
Hotels and restaurant operators in the municipality are already feeling the pinch of the increments.
Annet Kyomugisha, who operates a restaurant in Kigongi trading center told our reporter that they have also adjusted their food prices upwards following the increments so as to match the current stake.
Ms Kyomugisha says that a plate of beef used to sell at UGX 3,000 is now at UGX 4000. She says that a plate of goats’ meat also increased to UGX 6,000 up from UGX 4500.
“We also found it necessary to slightly increase the prices of the food having experienced a lot of input and costs in accessing what to offer to our daily customers,” Ms Kyomugisha added.
The African swine fever outbreak was reported in Ibanda district at the end of July but authorities confirmed it was contained after it claimed over 200 pigs.