Despite the impressive performance of the agriculture sector, prices of fresh foodstuffs in major markets around Kigali have soared on account of high transport costs, a mini survey by Business Times has revealed.
The survey shows that fresh food prices in Kigali’s biggest food markets of Nyabugogo, Remera and Kimiroko have slightly increased in the last two months.
Some traders who spoke to Business Times said the recent hike in fuel prices has caused high transportation costs that are transferred to the final consumer. They also say that there was a dip in food production last two moths as a result of a dry spell.
According to the survey, prices of potatoes have increased to Rwf170 per Kg in the month of October from Rwf150 at the end of June while a Kg of Matooke is selling at Rwf140 per kilogramme, up from Rwf90.
Rice imported from Tanzanian gained by Rwf100 per Kg to Rwf700 per Kg from Rwf600 in a period of about two month.
Other commodities like sugar and salt have remained relatively stable at Rwf600 and Rwf200 per Kg respectively.
Vegetables, especially carrots are the ones that have been greatly increased due to scarcity.
“Production has gone down because we are told farmers in the village are encouraged to plant Maize instead of vegetable,” one trader noted.
A Kg of carrots has almost double folded to Rwf2,000 from between Rwf800-1000 while a bowl of French beans increased to Rwf4,000 from Rwf2,500.
However, tomato price deceased to Rwf1000 from Rwf2000 at the beginning of August as onions registered a downward trend to Rwf300 per Kg compared to Rwf500 at the end of June.
Fuel prices across the country increased from Rwf756 to Rwf795 per litre in June, later rising to Rwf860 as government cut its subsidies on the product at a time when international oil prices where rising.
The Central Bank has pronounced that inflation for the month of September is expected to rise slightly to 5.1 percent from the 4.86 percent recorded last month due to a hike in food prices experienced last month.
“Inflation figures are going down and there are a number of explanations but most importantly the performance of the agricultural sector,” François Kanimba, the Central Bank Governor told Business Times recently , pointing out that this has contributed to stabilizing of food prices in the market in the recent past.