Tomato farmers ask for processing plant as prices fall

RWAMAGANA/NGOMA - Tomato farmers in Rwamagana and Ngoma districts are appealing for a processing plant following a sharp decline in prices. Tomato prices have dropped to as low as Rwf 100 per kg from Rwf 400 few months ago. Talking to The New Times, the farmers said they are ripped off by middlemen who buy tomatoes across the province at give away prices, leaving local farmers counting their losses.
Tomatoes in a local market. (Photo / S. Rwembeho)
Tomatoes in a local market. (Photo / S. Rwembeho)

RWAMAGANA/NGOMA - Tomato farmers in Rwamagana and Ngoma districts are appealing for a processing plant following a sharp decline in prices.

Tomato prices have dropped to as low as Rwf 100 per kg from Rwf 400 few months ago.

Talking to The New Times, the farmers said they are ripped off by middlemen who buy tomatoes across the province at give away prices, leaving local farmers counting their losses.

“The Lack of processing plants is our undoing because very soon prices will rise. But we shall have made heavy losses, because we can’t stock our produce because it is perishable,” said Claude Kanamugire, a tomato farmer in Cyaruhogo village in Rwamagana.

Kanamugire, attributed the price decline to excess supply in the market coupled with adecrease in demand.

“Several farmers in the district grow tomatoes. The market was thus flooded with the produce. In addition, decline in demand for tomatoes drove the prices downwards,” he added.

Local leaders acknowledge that there are serious tomato price fluctuations across the province, but they have not yet arrived at solution.

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