Food prices remain stable despite festive rush

Prices of food items round Kigali remain stable despite the ongoing festive season, according to the Business Times’ mini-survey carried out at selected markets around Kigali City.

Prices of food items round Kigali remain stable despite the ongoing festive season, according to the Business Times’ mini-survey carried out at selected markets around Kigali City.

Traders in Kimiroko and Nyabugogo markets said on Wednesday that the lack of liquidity in circulation has reduced the purchasing power.

This according to traders has been the same situation for the last two to three months now.

Fracinne Kayitesi, a trader of Irish potatoes says that traders are being forced to reduce prices for some food stuffs so that customers can buy them in plenty, most especially vegetables which are perishable.

By yesterday, a day before Christmas, Irish potatoes were selling at Rwf110 from Rwf200 a kilogram. A bucket of tomatoes was selling at Rwf1,500 from Rwf2,000 but Kayitesi says that traders would easily give sell it at Rwf1,350.

Traders said that vegetables have, however, gone up in the previous month due lack of rains. Some vegetable prices in Nyabugogo market have gone up.

French beans are trading at Rwf600 from Rwf300, three months ago.

Green pepper is trading at Rwf400 in a pile of four, from Rwf250 in a period of a month ago and it is also attributed to low supply.

Traders also explained that onions have gone down from Rwf450 to Rwf300 because this time round they have grown in large quantities.

Peas have reduced from Rwf1,000 a bucket to Rwf500, carrots have reduced from Rwf40,000 a sack to Rwf15,000. They attributed this to the constant supply and a good harvest from the farmers.

However, there are those food items which have been experiencing price fluctuations in the previous months and their prices have been surging.

Traders said that Matooke are courted in this category with unstable prices. They are (Matooke) currently selling at Rwf150 a kilogram from Rwf90 and one trader revealed that the authorities are discouraging Matooke growers and they are cutting down banana plantations that Matookes are encouraging drunkenness and they (Authorities) are encouraging maize planting instead of Matookes.

Another item with fluctuating prices is Cassava; it is currently trading at Rwf150 a kilogram from Rwf120 and Rwf100 in the previous months.

Beef is currently trading at Rwf1,500 a kilogram. the last past four to five months. Fish (Tilapia) a kilogram is trading at Rwf1,800, fish prices have also been stable for a long period now.

The last time the city experienced local food price surge was in September, were some food prices went up by 0.9 percent in most market places by the end of June.

Most of these include bananas, cassava, Irish potatoes, fresh fish, milk, meat, and vegetables such as tomatoes, green pepper beans and ground nuts. 

The surge was attributed to the long dry season that the whole country experienced.

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