Bukoba — THE seasonal grasshoppers popularly known as Senene have resurfaced in Kagera with hundreds of residents buying them while others are sending the delicacy to their loved ones living in far away cities such as Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mbeya and even abroad.
For the past four days, the Bukoba market has been filled to capacity with entrepreneurs taking advantage of the situation to make money. Buyers can get a handful of Senene for just 200/-.
Senene is a delicacy for Kagera residents and the coming of the grasshoppers is regarded as a blessing. Some of the residents keep the dried Senene for longer periods and consume them during special occasions such as Christmas and Easter holidays.
Mr Jackton Kabigumira (25) is an entrepreneur who sells second-hand clothes at the Bukoba market, who also has been selling Senene and said, "During Senene season, once or twice a year, I temporarily suspend the second-hand clothing business to sell the delicacy.
This is so because I realise between 20,000/- to 100,000/- during the period per day. This is indeed good business," he said. Ms Cathrine Jacob (32) from Kayanga town in Karagwe District, has also been engaged in the lucrative Senene business. She has contacts in Bukoba town and when it's Senene time she hires transport and takes the grasshoppers to Karagwe where she has many customers.
Senene consumption is not limited to Bukoba town alone. Some people who come from Kagera but residing in far places like Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza or Songea are not left out. They have contacts who send the delicacy to them once the season comes.
However, while the Senene business is booming, the meat and fish businesses are badly hit. Mr Atman Hamad (42), who owns a butchery at Bukoba market told the 'Daily News' that most of the customers were opting for Senene. He said normally he sells between 100 to 200kgs a day, but for the past three days the sales have dropped to between 50 to 100kgs.