Fish prices push away customers

High Fish prices in different markets in Kigali have driven away customers. The prices, which traders attribute to rise in fish scarcity and high transport fare, has doubled compared to this time, last year.

High Fish prices in different markets in Kigali have driven away customers.

The prices, which traders attribute to rise in fish scarcity and high transport fare, has doubled compared to this time, last year.

A kilo of fish in most Kigali markets last week was sold at Rwf2,500, while in Nyabugogo market it went for Rwf2,800.

All the fish vendors who spoke to The New Times during a mini survey carried out last week, said they sold fish last year at Rwf2,000 per kilogramme.

Tharcisse Muberuka of Kimironko market said he gets fish from suppliers at Rwf2,200 per kilo.

The fish is caught from Lake Muhazi in the Eastern Province where a kilogramme goes for between Rfw1,500 and 2,000, according to the president of Federation of Fishers’ Cooperatives in Rwanda, Théophile Nyandwi,

Olive Ayinkamiye, another fish seller at Nyabugogo, said they are facing scarcity that she attributes to increasing demand.

She said the rising prices are driving away some customers.

Transport costs

“We used to sell 20 kilogrammes  per day but now we are selling about 10 kilogrammes,’’ she told The New Times last week. “Sometimes, we take two days without new fish stocks because suppliers don’t show up.”

But Nyandwi said there is no fish scarcity as production in Rwanda’s lakes is stable.

“The problem may be high transport costs.’’

The president of Karongi district fishers’ cooperative, that catches fish in Lake Kivu, Jerome Musonera, said fishermen sell a kilo at between Rwf1,200 to Rwf1,500.

Musonera argued that fish prices rise in Kigali because it goes through many middle men.

“We sell to traders at the lake, and they sell to other suppliers that will in turn sell to others from Kigali. The fact that everyone in the chain needs a profit, fish arrive in Kigali at high cost,” he said.

The Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) has also recently confirmed Lake Kivu is producing higher fish stocks currently.

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