Food prices are expected to ease as fuel prices continue to stabilise and crop yields increase from June.
On March 11, pump prices for petrol and diesel rose by five percent. Petrol rose from Rwf 965 to Rwf 1,015 while diesel prices climbed from Rwf 958 to Rwf 1,015, per litre.
Currently, both petrol and diesel pump prices are at Rwf 1,060, per litre.The Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Kalibata, is optimistic that the food price situation will get better as fresh crop yields pour in next month.
Kalibata said: “Food prices will definitely go down since a new harvest is coming in June.”
A mini-survey conducted by The New Times, yesterday, discovered that prices of some local agricultural produce had gone down.
At Kimironko market, Yuriya Mukakabega, a vendor of yellow beans, sells her produce at Rwf 600 per kilo down from Rwf 700 last month.
“The price has gone down because the new crop has started streaming in, and by next month, it could even to Rwf 500,” Mukakabega said.
Fresh harvests have also slashed prices for Mandarin oranges, Mukakabega said. They presently cost Rwf 500 or Rwf 600 a kilo yet last month, they were sold between Rwf 800 and Rwf 1000.
The price of Irish potatoes, however, remain high. A kg of goes for Rwf 240, up from Rwf 200 in February.
Traders said the reason is two-fold; The effect of fuel prices and the fact that farmers take their produce to the Ugandan market where they expect more earnings.
Prices for some imported products also remain high.
A kilo of quality Tanzanian rice is at Rwf 900 up from Rwf 800 two weeks ago.
A five-litre container of Mukwano cooking oil sells at Rwf 6,200, up from Rwf 5,500. The same quantity of Rina cooking oil is sold at Rwf 6,500, up from Rwf 5,600, in the past few months.
Christophe Uwizeye, a cooking oil vendor, said the increase in cooking oil prices is a result of the increased fuel prices.
Uwizeye said: “We hear it (fuel price increase) is because of the war going on in Libya.”
Despite the political turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East, Rwanda has kept fuel prices relatively stable.
The month of February witnessed the highest fuel price increase since 2008, a hike attributed to the conflicts.