Beans and tomato prices have skyrocketed in most districts in the Eastern Province. A kilogramme of beans, which cost Rwf400 at the beginning of last month is now at Rwf600 in all markets in the province.
Tomatoes cost Rwf700 per kilogramme in Kayonza, Ngoma and Rwamagana markets, up from Rwf400 a kilo last month.
Traders attributed the rise to low supply, adding that farmers recorded poor yields.
Richard Ntakirutinka, a businessman in Kayonza district, predicted that the prices would continue to increase for the next two or so months when supply is expected to stabilise.
“We had anticipated the rise in prices, particularly for beans, because of poor yields last season. The problem is that this is happening at a time when farmers haven’t even started planting. In the coming two to three months, consumers will have to dig deeper into their pockets to buy these commodities,” Ntakirutinka said.
Farmers attributed the price increase to the long drought being experienced in the area and diseases that hit the crops.
“It is not only tomatoes and beans, but also carrots and other greens cannot be accessed,” said Annette Tuyisenge, a vegetable trader in Rwamagana Market.
Tuyisenge noted that consumers have resorted to using tinned tomato sauce because it is cheaper.
“Very few people eat beans nowadays because it is not only expensive, but also consumes a lot of wood fuel,” she said.
Beans are a staple food for most Rwandans.