Irish Potato prices across the country have shot high barely five months after the government put restrictions on middlemen brokering prices and supply of one of Rwanda’s staple food crop.
A mini- survey conducted by KT Press indicates that prices went high for the most liked Irish potato variety grown in the Northern and Western Province – known as ‘Kinigi’– ranging between Rwf350 and Rwf500/Kgs.
In Musanze – Northern Province a kilogram of Kinigi Irish potatoes is sold at Rwf230 while other varieties sell at Rwf200.
In Kigali city, the Irish potato prices went up to Rwf500 in Kabeza market, Rwf400 in Kimironko and Nyarugenge city market, Rwf380 for Nyarutarama area, and Rwf350 in Muhima and Kanombe area.
The potatoes also remained expensive across the country.
For example in Rwamagana district they are sold at Rwf370, while in Huye, a kilogram sells at Rwf300.
In Muhanga district, the Irish potato variety that was named after Kibuye is sold at Rwf280.
In December 2017, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (Minicom) fixed the price of potatoes at Rwf165/kg – Rwf170/kg as a price to the farmer and Rwf215/kg – Rwf220/kg as retail price on the market.
Farmers in Musanze attribute the high prices to the irish potato season which has seen a setback in supply on the local market.
“We still have Irish potatoes in the farmland, they are not ready for harvest,” said Odette Uwimana one of the Irish farmers.
Despite all this, there has been a drop of prices in Food and non-alcoholic beverages 1.7% -4.0% according to the May Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by the national institute of statistics
This trend of increased consumer prices on Irish potatoes is reflected, in the recent CPI which increased by 1.8 percent on an annual basis and increased by 0.9% on a monthly basis.
The report shows that the Urban CPI increased by 3.0% on annual basis and by 1.1 percent on a monthly basis. The annual average rate between May 2018 and May 2017 is 2.4%.
The Rural CPI increased by 0.9 percent on an annual basis and increased by 0.8% on a monthly basis.
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels had the highest increase from 1.7% in April to 14.9% in May, followed by transport (-2.6% to 8.5%).