BUJUMBURA August 11th (ABP) – During the Cabinet meeting of August 3, 2022, the Minister of Trade, Transport, Industry and Tourism, Mrs. Marie Chantal Nijimbere presented a note on the issue of the marketing of products such as those of BRARUDI, BUCECO and SOSUMO. That note was presented following multiple attempts to raise the prices of some of these products but also following the shortage and speculation surrounding them.
There are discrepancies between the reference prices and the actual prices on the market. According to the Note, this is so at a time when the Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with the local administration continues to deploy their efforts to enforce the official prices but in vain. In the meantime, BRARUDI and BUCECO have continued to send requests to the Ministry in charge of trade to increase the prices of their products since 2021 for reasons in particular of soaring raw material costs, transport costs but also the need to increase investment to meet demand.
The ministry in charge of trade wished to share this information while proposing solutions in relation to this situation.
For BRARUDI, the price increase offered varies between 200 and 600 Fbu per bottle and depends on the type of product. For BUCECO, the proposed price increase is 3000 Fbu per bag on the Cement 32.5R product.
After exchange and debate on the Note, some observations and recommendations were made. The Board noted that the commonality for all three products is that demand far exceeds supply. Given the production capacities of these Companies, it is not clear that these products will be available even after the price increase.
For BRARUDI and BUCECO products, it is important to analyze production costs to offer realistic prices. The BRARUDI and BUCECO companies must show a plan to increase production so that these products are available before considering the price increase.
For the products of SOSUMO and BUCECO which are insufficient, it will be necessary to allow other operators with sufficient financial capacity a gateway to import these products, to accelerate the project of Rehabilitation, Modernization and Extension of SOSUMO including its business plan is already available. Concerning BRARUDI which wants to grow sorghum, the ministers having Trade, Community Development and Agriculture in their attributions will get together to see how to respond to this request.
The Cabinet asks the administration to enforce the prices in force because the prices increase while the taxes remain the same. The Ministry in charge of Industry as well as the Burundi Development Agency are called upon to find mechanisms to encourage industrial promoters who want to invest in Burundi.