This report contains findings of a study commissioned by the European Union funded project entitled “Enhancing nutrition security and incomes through adding value to indigenous vegetables in East and Central Uganda” which is implemented by the Uganda Christian University (UCU), together with Farmgain Africa, CHAIN Uganda and the Natural Resources Institute under the PAEPARD initiative of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa.
This study was conducted in the period August – September 2016 in Kampala, Jinja and Mbale districts and mainly focused on Nakati (S. aethiopicum), Entula (S. aethiopicum L. Gilo group) and Katunkuma (S. anguivi). Primary data was collected from several key informants mostly located in the main markets of the mentioned locations. The Holtzman methodology was used in this study which involved triangulating information obtained from various key informants who are amply knowledgeable of the supply chain under scrutiny.
Some key findings regarding demand reveal that the highest concentration of AIV traders tends to be found in Kampala markets particularly in Nakasero and Kalerwe markets. These two markets and to a certain extent Nakawa market handle the bulk of AIVs traded in Kampala which is the pivotal consumer market for AIVs in Uganda. It was also observed that Nakasero market acts as a “clearing house” for AIVs specifically linking supply to the other markets in Kampala except Kalerwe which is also outstandingly a big hub for AIVs. Demand for AIVs is usually stable throughout the year with observable peaks on weekends and public holidays. Traders are the main buyers of AIVs in markets especially Nakati (S. aethiopicum) followed by individuals for home consumption and then operators of restaurants and food vending businesses. An increase in demand for AIVs has been observed over the years and this is attributed to changing eating habits especially amongst urban and peri-urban dwellers. Demand for AIVs in upcountry town markets is rather still dismal and this calls for massive sensitization on benefits of eating AIVs in such locations.
Regarding supply of AIVs, Wakiso, Luwero and Mukono districts were found to be the main suppliers of Kampala markets whereas Jinja, Mukono and Kayunga supplied Jinja district markets. Though demand for AIVs in Mbale is still dismal, the current supply is mainly from Sironko and Budadiri districts. It was also observed that supply of AIVs particularly Nakati and Entula tends to reach a peak in the months ending a rainy season. This is consistent with the fact that they are mostly under rain-fed production and they tend to mature in 2 months after the onset of rains. Some farmers have adopted irrigation techniques hence are able to produce AIVs over a stretched period in a year.
Regarding profitability, retailers generally bag greater profits than wholesalers. Findings from the survey reveal that for Nakati (S. aethiopicum), wholesalers can obtain a profit of up to Ugx 45,000 per big bundle traded under normal supply seasons where as retailers can obtain profit of up to Ugx 55,000 for the same volumes traded.
For Entula (S. aethiopicum L. Gilo group), the study also observed that the green oval type commonly referred to as “local” was preferred to the whitish oval type also referred to as “exotic”. Wholesalers dealing in local Entula were found to obtain profits as high as Ugx 30,000 whereas retailers dealing in the same product were found to earn profits as high as Ugx 60,000 per 50Kg bag handled. Subsequently, wholesalers dealing in exotic Entula were found to earn profits as high as Ugx 15,000 per 50Kg bag handled where as retailers dealing in local Entula earned up to Ugx 35,000 per 50Kg bag handled.
For Katunkuma (S. anguivi), wholesaler were found to earn a profit as high as Ugx 30,000 per 50Kg bag handled whereas retailers were found to earn a profit as high as Ugx 50,000 per 50Kg bag handled.
The study concludes with mentioning constraints
commonly faced in the AIVs trade which includes inadequate handling of
post-harvest deterioration as well as the huge amounts of foliar waste associated
with AIVs which generate secondary problems especially to the city or town
council authorities in terms of waste management. Also noted as a challenge was
the tendency of traders to reach closer to buyers hence resulting into hawking
which contravenes regulations governing Kampala city and several upcountry
towns where AIVs are sold.
 Promoting African and European Partnerships in Agricultural Research and Development
Holtzman, J.S. et al. Using Rapid Appraisal to Examine Course Grain processing and Utilization in Mali. From Scott, G.J. (1995), Prices Products and People IJISET - International Journal of Innovative Science, Engineering & Technology, Vol. 2 Issue 5, May 2015. www.ijiset.com ISSN 2348 – 7968 692 Analysing Agricultural Markets in Developing Countries. Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc
 African Indigenous Vegetables