Prices of food items that had skyrocketed during the lockdown period have started easing as travel restrictions are rifted.
The ease in prices for some food items had also been attributed to reduced demand from bars, restaurants and hotels after they either closed down or scaled down their operations in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
A spot check at Nyabugogo main food market show rice, sugar, green bananas, cassava flour, vegetables are among the items whose prices have either remained unchanged or went down during the past couple of months.
A kilogramme of green bananas for instance goes for Rwf150 from between Rwf250-Rwf270 before, while cassava flour now goes for Rwf350 from between Rwf400 and Rwf800 in May.
However, prices of meat, fish, beans, maize flour and Irish potatoes which had remained moderate have gone up since early June instigated largely by the reopening of the hotels and restaurants.
Costs of beans and maize flour rose to between Rwf650 and Rwf700, and Rwf800-Rwf1000 a kilogramme respectively, while Irish potatoes cost are at between Rwf300 and Rwf350 a kilogramme, having risen from Rwf280 a month ago.
Cost of fish products have gone up by more than 15 per cent a kilogramme after the coronavirus crippled fishing in Lake Kivu as two border districts of Rusizi and Rubavu were put under a lockdown.
As a result a kilogramme of silverfish rose in cost to Rwf10, 000 from Rwf8, 000 in early June. A kilogramme of meat now goes for Rwf3000 from Rwf2800 two weeks ago at most abattoirs in Kigali.
“Hotels and restaurants had not been operating for some time, and now they are taking a huge chunk of our products, that’s why prices have started moving up,” said Chantal Mukandayisenga, who runs a grocer shop.
“But they will not keep this way because unlike under the lockdown when a few traders were operating, now many people are coming to set up food shops and that’s create competition expected to stabilise prices,” she added.
Abnormal increase in costs of food supplies since mid-March had seen the ministry of trade and industry intervene to fix prices of key products such rice, maize flour, beans, Irish potatoes, cassava, cooking oil and sugar, among others in Kigali and in secondary cities.