The local yam locally known as bwebindu, in Buganda is steadily gaining ground as a food item in major markets around the city.
This type of Yam was initially considered as food for the poor and often times left to grow wild and left for animals like pigs to feast on.
But with the looming food shortages, the yam that was reserved for the backyard has gained a visible entry into several markets in the city. Heaps of yams are no longer a rare sight in Kalerwe, Kasubi, and Owino Markets in Kampala.
Several traders in Kampala's Kalerwe market acknowledged that the yam is a hot item, mainly because they are being sold cheaply compared to other tubers like cassava and sweet potatoes.
A heap of yams enough to feed a family of five is sold at 1000 shillings compared to the similar amount paid for sweet potatoes which can't feed a family of two.
Grace Nnaluwaga, a food dealer in Kalerwe market, says that in addition to her Banana and potato stocks, she has decided to join the Yam business. The yams can be kept for a longer period of time compared to other foods. After harvest, this yam can last for between 6 to 12 weeks, which is not the case with other tubers. She explains that the yam has proved a best substitute to guard against food loss.
Nathan Lubega Abraham, a food vendor in the outskirts of Makerere University says the Yam has become so handy because of their nutritional value. He says these types of yams are rich in starch, vitamin C and dietary fiber.
//Cue in: i#they where eaten by the poor#//
Cue out: i#..less expensive.i//
A sack of yams costs between 25,000 shillings and 30,000 shillings. Most traders are happy that they are able to reap some profits from their new found cash crop.
This type of yams is planted mainly in Masaka, Luwero and Mukono district.