Banana prices tipped to drop further

Banana growers in the Eastern Province, anticipate prices that peaked at Rwf 80 per kilogram early January to drop to below Rwf 20 per kg by the end of this month.
Bananas on sell at cheap prices in Kirehe District. The Sunday Times / S. Rwembeho.
Bananas on sell at cheap prices in Kirehe District. The Sunday Times / S. Rwembeho.

Banana growers in the Eastern Province, anticipate prices that peaked at Rwf 80 per kilogram early January to drop to below Rwf 20 per kg by the end of this month.

According to a mini-survey carried out by The Sunday Times, authorities ruled out intervening in the domestic price of bananas.

Nepomscene Ndayambaje, a banana grower in Ngoma District, said that low market prices were complicating matters for growers to the extent that some considered abandoning the activity.

He said that whenever there is an increase in banana production, prices go extremely low hence discouraging growers.

“Banana production is no business...the prices on the local market are very disturbing. Production tends to increase in dry seasons...deep in remote communities, some farmers leave bananas to rot in plantations instead of selling at almost zero prices,” he said.

Jean Claude Uwanyirigira, a maize grower in Kirehe District, said the government should intervene to check losses incurred by farmers.

He added that a modern packing and exporting bananas should be taken up.

“We need government’s intervention in stabilization the price, otherwise we may see people desert banana growing. We need skills to pack as modalities get underway to help us export the crop. The current prices won’t get us anywhere,” he said.

But the news of banana price reduction is a blessing to consumers.

David Sabiti, a teacher in Nyamata, said that when prices drop, it is only the farmer who suffers, adding that consumers welcome it.

 “Production levels are certainly on their way up and this is good news for every consumer. Food can be very expensive when there is scarcity.

It is normal that the  price drops when production increases...you know the law of demand and supply works,” he said.