Retailers and suppliers bow to pressure, cut prices of milk

Tuesday November 30 2021

A dairy farmer in Eastern Province. Farmers are not getting the true value for their milk due to high production costs and low quality. PHOTO | FILE


Milk retailers have bowed to pressure from the public to reduce prices that had skyrocketed over the past few months without justification.

Retailers were quick to explain that the supply shortage was artificial due to speculation by some suppliers who had resorted to hoarding milk.

According to a mini-survey by Rwanda Today done around Nyarugenge City market and Nyabugogo while Inyange milk outlets reinstated the previous milk prices, some traders still charge more.

For instance, a carton of 500 millilitres each which had increased to Rwf9,000 is now retailing at Rwf5,000 by Inyange, but individual shops sell at Rwf6,000 Meanwhile a litre of Inyange processed milk whose cost had increased to between Rwf 1,300 to Rwf1,500 reduced to Rwf1,000 at most surveyed shops.

Equally, retail prices at milk kiosks most preferred by low income households stabilised following an earlier rise by up to Rwf150 a litre weeks ago.

“A litre at a milk kiosk in our area goes for between Rwf350 to Rwf400. It has increased to between Rwf450 and Rwf500,” said Ingabire Clarisse, who packs milk as part of her school going child meal.


“It only the half-a-litre Mukamira milk whose cost remains high at Rwf600 from Rwf500. Before it as sold at Rwf400,” a shop owner in Nyarugenge City Market told Rwanda Today.

But the drop in prices also follows a recent inspection by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which fined some businesses including supermarkets and milk zone that were found to have inflated prices.

According to the players in the milk value chain, the milk shortage in the Kigali city had been exacerbated with numerous factors, including increasing milk consumption within the rural areas as well as prolonged drought season.

Inyange Industries Ltd, the biggest local milk processor recently attributed the shortage to the prolonged dry season that affected production particularly in Eastern Province, the country’s leading milk producer.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources figures, the country counts around 1.4 million of population cattle, which produce around one billion litres of milk every year.