Jinja City: The ongoing National Agricultural Education Show, launched by Hon. Frederick Bwino Kyakulaga on Monday, is facing challenges as the turnout of schools and visitors remains significantly low. As the event enters its fourth day, vendors and businesses within the showgrounds are expressing regret over their investments and struggling to make profits.
The disappointing turnout has impacted vendors who have set up businesses at the showgrounds. Food vendors, in particular, are facing losses as they prepare meals for a larger number of people but end up selling only a fraction of what they anticipated.
Madam Nakiganda Khadija, owner of a restaurant in the showgrounds, shared her frustration, saying, “We are already on the fourth day of the agricultural show, which lasts for seven days. However, we have not made the money we invested. As food vendors, we are experiencing losses because we prepare a substantial amount of food for lunch, but we end up selling only 50 plates out of the 200 we expected. The cost of commodities is high, but customers are buying plates of food at a significantly lower price, resulting in losses.”
Comparing this year’s show to previous editions, it is evident that the number of attendees has not been increasing as the days progress. In the past, the exhibitions witnessed a gradual rise in attendance. However, this year’s event has seen a consistent and relatively low number of visitors since its launch.
Mr. Robert Kigumba, a salesperson from the Vitaform store in the showgrounds, expressed disappointment with the lackluster business performance. “As Vitaform, we have not made money as expected. This edition of the show primarily targets schools, where we do not anticipate mattress sales. However, we were hoping to create awareness that Vitaform still exists in the country. In terms of sales, we are not performing well,” he explained.
Despite the challenges, there has been a slight increase in the number of people attending the show, although it cannot be compared to previous years. The previous editions combined exhibitions for students, tourists, and businesspeople. Mr. Robert acknowledged that the current edition seems to be more appealing to those who operate kid’s recreation centers, as numerous primary and nursery schools have brought their pupils for educational tours.
As the show enters its final days, vendors and businesses remain hopeful for an improvement in attendance and sales.