New harvests push food prices down

Rwamagana - A mini-survey conducted by The New Times has established a drastic reduction in food prices in several districts of the Eastern Province over the past few weeks.A kilo of Irish potatoes, which a few weeks ago was at Rwf220, now goes for Rwf150, while a sizeable bunch of bananas is at Rwf1,000 down from Rwf3,500. 
An open market in Rwamagana. Food prices in the area have significantly gone down. The New Times / File.
An open market in Rwamagana. Food prices in the area have significantly gone down. The New Times / File.

Rwamagana - A mini-survey conducted by The New Times has established a drastic reduction in food prices in several districts of the Eastern Province over the past few weeks.

A kilo of Irish potatoes, which a few weeks ago was at Rwf220, now goes for Rwf150, while a sizeable bunch of bananas is at Rwf1,000 down from Rwf3,500. 

Chantal Ingabire, a businesswoman, told The New Times, yesterday, that the sharp drop in prices is due to an increase in supply after harvest.

“Most of the Irish potatoes we sell come from Ruhengeri...the prices have significantly dropped. Most of my customers who had abandoned me are now back,” she said.

Jean Claude Gasigwa, a resident of Kigabiro Sector, said that Irish potatoes were now affordable to most low income earners. “Irish potatoes had become like ‘gold’. But there is now enough food because we had good rains. As for bananas, prices normally drop during the dry season.”

However, consumers are not wholly excited about the situation.

James Nkusi, a teacher, said that despite the drop, he lacked the money to purchase enough food for his children.

The long term serving teacher said that most people in urban areas were increasingly frustrated by the intermittent hiking of other essential foodstuffs.

He said he would be excited if the price of maize flour and rice would also reduce.

“We are witnessing a drop in food prices of what we produce locally alone. Prices of rice and sugar, for instance, are now beyond our means. You can’t believe a kilogramme of sugar is now selling at Rwf1,200, whereas a kilo of rice is at Rwf720,” he lamented.

However, traders predict that the price of rice could drop in the coming days as the new harvests get to the market.

Ends