Cassava bread lovers in Huye District will now have to dig deeper into their pockets to enjoy the staple food following a surge in cassava flour prices.
According to a mini-survey by The New Times, the cost of cassava flour has increased to Rwf800 per kilogramme, up from Rwf500 about two weeks ago.
Clementine Uwambajimana, a cassava flour vendor in Huye market, attributed the increase to lack of cassava on the market and the high demand for the staple.
Uwambajimana said the growth in demand was driven by buyers from other districts as well as those from neighbouring Burundi.
“This has pushed prices further,” she added.
The price for a kilogramme of dry cassava has also risen to about Rwf650 from Rwf400 previously, vendors said.
Other foodstuff whose prices have increased include beans. Beans now go for Rwf400 from Rwf300 a kilo, a development that Agricole Kagiza, a trader in Huye market, attributed to high demand.
John Uwimana, who operates a restaurant in Huye town, said they have been forced to increase the price of ugali (cassava bread) to Rwf1,000 a plate from Rwf600 previously.
He added that there is hardly enough cassava flour on the market, a situation that has left them unable to serve all their clients.
“We are hopeful that prices could go down during the coming cassava harvest season between August and September,” he said, adding that it is also costly to transport it from villages.
However, Mary Muragijimana, a resident of Ngoma sector, blamed the price surge on residents, saying they have abandoned farming.
“Many people in Huye never grow their own food and depend on what is brought to the market. That’s why there is huge demand for almost all foodstuff, including maize, beans and cassava, which has resulted into price increase,” she said.