Prices of Irish potatoes and vegetables have risen in Musanze and Rubavu markets, the main markets of Northern and Western provinces, respectively.
A mini survey conducted by The New Times, last week, in Rubavu, and on Monday in Musanze, indicates that a kilogramme of Irish potatoes, which cost Rwf170 a month ago, now costs Rwf220 in Musanze market and 210 in Rubavu-based market.
Tomatoes cost Rwf600 per kilogramme in Musanze and Rubavu markets, up from Rwf500 two months ago.
“Irish potatoes are scarce in Musanze market because of low rainfall in this season. The harvest wasn’t good, besides in this period we normally have a slight rise in Irish potatoes price,” said Ratifa Niyonsaba, who sells Irish potatoes in Musanze District.
She, however, added that prices are expected to go down in September when farmers dig up old gardens.
Chamsi Uwamahoro, a businesswoman in Rubavu market, attributed the rise of Irish potatoes prices to high demand and recent drought which affected production.
“I have operated in this market for four years but Irish potato prices had never shot up like this. It normally fluctuates between Rwf180 and Rwf200. There is likely to be scarcity as the demand is high, most of them are taken to Kigali,” she said.
Irish potato is the main crop planted in Northern and Western provinces.
This paper’s survey indicated that most buyers have resorted to eating bananas which are cheaper.
Bananas cost between Rwf110 and Rwf130 per kilogramme in Musanze District, while in Rubavu, the price stands at less than Rwf150 a kilogramme.
Last month, the Minister for Agriculture, Dr Agnes Kalibata, toured Musanze District to mobilise farmers ahead of the second farming season this month.
She said the area is not at risk of hunger and encouraged farmers to multiply Irish potato seeds to boost production with help of fertilisers.