Households dig deeper into pockets to put food on table

Wednesday August 12 2020

prices

Food traders attribute high prices of foodstuffs to the shortage of supplies and travel restrictions imposed by the government to contain spread of coronavirus. Photo | Cyril Ndegeya  

LEONCE MUVUNYI
By LEONCE MUVUNYI
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Households are forced to dig deeper into their pockets to meet the rising cost of the essential meals occasioned by severe shortages due to limited local supplies, coupled with challenges linked travel restrictions.

Food traders attribute the high costs to the shortage of supplies and travel restrictions, which have led to the doubling of food prices over the past months.

A Rwanda Today survey across several markets place using the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources’ e-Soko, a government platform transmitting regular market price information from different locations in the country, indicate that a sharp increase in food prices of various commodities.

According to the platform, a kilo of Irish potatoes, for instance, went for Rwf350 and Rwf450 as of July 31, for whitish and Kinigi Irish potato varieties’ respectively in various markets, having risen from between Rwf310 and Rwf350 in June.

Various beans varieties have recorded an increase ranging between Rwf50 and Rwf200. For instance, the prices on Rwandan beans varieties increased from Rwf633 per kilo to Rwf700, while the Christianised colta beans variety is costing Rwf1, 200 from Rwf1,000 in June.

While a kilo of Rwandan rice variety cost averagely Rwf800 on July 1, it has now increased to nearly Rwf900, while the 50 kilogramme bag of cement is costing around Rwf15,000.

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Ministry’s regulations indicate that a kilo of irish potatoes should not exceed Rwf400 on Kinigi variety and Rwf325 per kilo on white variety, Rwf850 per Kilo of Rwandan variety rice and Rwf1,000 on colta and Rwf12, 500 for 50kg of cement among other regulated commodities.

However, some of the commodities cultivated in the wetland in season C is easing the prices.

Compare with the current market prices’ on green beans with that of the last two months, a kilo has eased from Rwf800 recorded as the highest price in June and reached to Rwf500 in August.

Traders said production of items like green beans, carrots, onions, tomatoes, spices and vegetables from swamps, whose production is flooding the markets are easing the prices.

Domithile Gashagaza, a vegetable dealer in the Kigali city, told Rwanda Today in addition to coronavirus effects that could be partly blamed for the situation.

During this time of the dry season, the prices on various commodities normally fall because plenty of supplies coming upcountry.,” she said.

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