Relief for consumers as food prices ease slightly

Prices for some main foodstuff have dropped marginally across major markets in Kigali city over the last one week, according to a mini-survey by Business Times.

For instance, a kilogramme of Irish potatoes (kinigi variety) dropped to Rwf300. Over the last couple of months the price for the Kinigi potato variety oscillated between Rwf350 and 450 per kilogramme on account of poor yields from farmers.

Sweet potatoes, which used to cost Rwf200 per kilogramme, have eased Rwf150.

The cost of mangos eased from Rwf1, 000 per kilogramme to Rwf800 while the price for fresh beans has largely remained stable at around Rwf400.

Prices for watermelons have also been dropping steadily in part owing to the increase in supply.

Depending on the size, the price for one watermelon ranges between Rwf600 and Rwf1,500. Previously the prices for watermelon used to range between Rwf2,000 and Rwf2,500.

However, the price of banana marginally increased from Rwf150 a kilo to Rwf180o.

According to Jean Baptiste Ishimwe, a vendor in Kimironko market, the price of Irish Potatoes started dropping since last week.

However, when we visited Nyabugogo market yesterday, vendors cited a slowdown in the supply of Irish potatoes compared to last week.

They feared that if the slowdown is sustained, it could trigger fresh price increases.

 “Last week, in Kimironko (market) the prices started dropping. It was a slight decrease. Today, a kilo costs Rwf300. It is a harvest season and we believe that in the coming months the cost is likely to drop to previous amount that was Rwf200 or Rwf250 for the Kinigi variety,” Ishimwe said.

Vendors also anticipate further increase in pineapple prices.

Currently, a pineapple costs between Rwf600 and Rwf700. Last month the price was Rwf500.

Though the price of cassava and vegetables are not fixed, the vendors say that they are currently stable.

The cost of peas in Kimironko and Nyabugogo markets dropped to Rwf1,000 per kilo from Rwf1,500 last month while a kilo of tomatoes eased to Rwf500 from Rwf700.

Prices of meat remain the same as well as of rice and cassava flour.