GITEGA June 14th (ABP) – The prices of foodstuffs being harvested (beans, rice, cocoyams) have fallen in the central market in the town of Gitega, but the decrease is not noticeable if we compare them to those in previous years. Traders put forward two main reasons: some say that many producers still keep their food products to wait for official price setting. Others say there are farmers including rice farmers who are still harvesting, according to information gathered in the central market on Friday.
Bean prices are currently decreasing between 200 and 500 BIF per kilogram when compared to current prices with those at the end of May 2021 in the central market of the city center. Indeed, the price of 1st quality yellow beans is set at 1,800 BIF per kilogram against 2,000 BIF previously set. The price of the second quality called Muhoro beans is set at 1,600 BIF against the previous price of 2,000 BIF per kilogram. The Kinure beans are sold at 1,200 BIF per kilogram against 1,700 BIF previously set and the mixed beans are sold today at 1,200 BIF per kg against 1,700 BIF.
Consumers appreciate this decrease, but fear a possible increase since the foodstuffs on the market are not as abundant as those of the past years.
Rice prices show a drop of 200 BIF per kilogram for the different varieties if we compare the current prices to those at the end of May 2020. The locally produced rice of 1st quality is bought to date at 2,000 BIF against 2,200 BIF/kg set previously. The price of second quality rice from the Kumoso region is 1,800 BIF against 2,000 BIF previously set. The price of rice called Cendajuru of 3rd quality is set at 1,500 BIF per kg against the previous price of 1,700 BIF.
The price of dry maize seeds has been somewhat stable since the harvest of last April and varies between 750 BIF and 900 BIF.
The price of dry peas is 2,400 BIF per kilogram while that of fresh peas varies between 2,300 and 2,500 BIF per kilogram. Wheat is scarce in the market and its price has been set at 2,000 BIF since last February. The decrease in that price could take place in August after the harvest. The 1st quality cassava flour has also increased from 1,200 BIF per kilogram to 1,500 BIF to date. The 2nd quality cassava flour saw a slight decrease from 1,000 to 900 BIF.
For fresh food, the cocoyam which is harvested is abundant in the market. Its prices currently vary between 600 BIF and 650 BIF per kilogram against 800 and 900 BIF set before the harvest. Potato prices are high and range from 1,000 to 1,300 BIF, while at harvest time those prices are usually halved. The harvest is expected soon.
Red onion prices have also increased from 2,000 BIF per kilogram to 3,000 BIF so far. Cottonseed oil is also expensive at 6,000 BIF per liter compared to 5,000 BIF previously. Palm oil varies between 3,600 and 3,400 BIF per liter in the central market against 2,400 BIF previously set.
Some traders have indicated that this increase is linked to the law of supply and demand. They added that farmers are getting involved to increase production, but consumers also keep increasing.