GICUMBI- Poor harvests of beans and potatoes have resulted in the hiking of food prices across many parts of Gicumbi District.
A mini survey conducted by The New Times in Gaseke, Byumba, Rukomo and Yaramba markets, indicates that the price of a kilogram of beans is now costing Rwf400 up from Rwf300, while potatoes have shot up to Rwf180 up from Rwf120 in the last one month.
Traders attribute the price rise to poor harvests. Prices of bananas have also risen, with one bunch of banana costing over Rwf4000.
Traders attribute the high cost to transport charges as they have to travel long distances to buy the bananas from Nyagatare and Gatsibo districts in the Eastern Province.
“It is going to be very difficult for many people to feed their families, with such high food prices,” said Claudine Uwamwezi a trader at Gaseke Market.
The district vice -Mayor for Economic Affairs, Ildephonse Butera said the district experienced poor harvests of beans and potatoes in this year’s second season which runs from March to June.
“The poor harvests are mainly attributed to the habit of farmers planting one type of crop on the same piece of land every season. This is why the district has embarked on sensitising farmers to practice crop rotation, where beans and potatoes should be rotated with other crops like cassava and green vegetables,” said Butera.
To reduce the risk of food shortages, Butera said the district works hand in hand with sector authorities to ensure there is food storage facilities in each sector.
“The storage facilities are run by farmers’ cooperative societies…which sell food items to residents during food shortage periods,” he added.