Milk consumers both upcountry and in cities are not pleased with a hike in prices which has led to some families to live without the product.
According to a mini-survey done by The New Times, it was established that milk prices have hiked exorbitantly because of prolonged dry spells leading to the decline in milk production.
It was found that milk agents in Kigali sell at different prices ranging from Frw350-Frw500 per liter which has caused discontent among consumers.
“There are no harmonized prices because everyone fixes prices as he or she wishes. They are exploiting consumers which is not good, we understand there’s need for some controls,” one milk consumer complained.
The angry consumer added that during the dry spells milk agents dilute their milk which reduces the quality and gives the milk a bad taste.
Some milk agents who supply to Kigali city shifted the blamein the decline of milk production to dry spells which has caused a sharp decline in the volume of production especially in Umutara area which supplies over 60 percent of the country’s production.
Umutara Dairy Marketing Cooperative chairman, Augustine Katabarwa, confirmed price changes and revealed that at their milk collection centres in Umutara , the whole sale price is Frw270. He said that a farmer pockets Frw200 and the fixed retail price is Frw300.
Information available states that during rainy seasons, milk prices on whole sale ranges from Frw150-Frw180. The farmer is given Frw130 and the last consumers get it at Frw200.
Katabarwa blames the decline of quality to what he describes as middlemen who dilute the produce.