Food prices have started easing around Kigali city, thanks to improved production.
Food vendors told Rwanda Today that supply of fresh vegetables has improved in recent weeks, leading to lower food prices.
According to the latest update by Rwanda National Institutes for Statistics, prices decreased slightly by 0.9 percent on a monthly basis between October and September.
However, market prices increased by 7.2 percent on an annual basis in October compared with last week.
The statistical body attributes the increase largely to the transport cost factor, which has increased by 11.9 percent on an annual basis and decreased by 8.2 per cent on monthly basis.
“The prices of green beans, tomatoes, carrots and Eggplants are gradually decreasing,” Clementine Umulisa, a vegetable vendor in Kicukiro told Rwanda Today.
Early this month, prices of Irish po-tatoes decreased from nearly Rwf550 to Rwf350 on a widely known variety of Kinigi due to increased supply from the northern parts of the country.
However, food vendors also attribute the decrease in food prices to lower transport costs following the recent government decision stop upward review of public transport charges.
“We have started getting the Irish potatoes produce from Kinigi in Musanze and other surrounding places, which is not expensive from the place which is even nearby Kigali compare to others we used to source from Democratic Republic of Congo, whose transport cost was almost double,” said Aimable Nzeyurwanda, an Irish potato dealer.
However, there are some food items that are still in short supply as the locally grown varieties are yet to get on the market. Most of the affected commodities are cereals.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources’ e-Soko, a government platform transmitting regular market price information from different locations in the country, the cereals prices’ have relatively remained high throughout the period.
According to the platform, various bean varieties have remained in the range of Rwf633 per kilo and Rwf1200, while the rice has also remained stable at Rwf900 a kilo. Foodstuff traders indicate that production of items like green beans, carrots, onions, tomatoes, spices and vegetables from swamps, whose production have flooded the markets.
Domithile Gashagaza, a vegetable dealer in the Kigali city, told Rwanda Today that in addition to coronavirus effects that could disrupt the food supply chain, most of the commodities are still in short supply.