MURAMVYA/GITEGA January 11th (ABP) – The Minister of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security, Martin Niteretse, paid a working visit on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, to the Gasange market located in Rutegama commune of Muramvya province (Centre-West) and to the central market of Gitega (Center of the country), to inquire about the current situation of food prices, given the lamentations of the people.
At the Gasange market, Minister Niteretse was welcomed by the governor of Muramvya province, Diomède Nzambimana, and the communal administrator of Rutegama. In the company of those administrative officials, he visited various selling points of foodstuffs. He found that the price of a kilogram of beans known as Kinure or Muhoro costs between 2800 and 3000 BIF, a basket of sweet potatoes is bought at 3000, 5000,70000 or 10000 BIF regardless of the quantity in the market.
It was at the time when the price of a kilogram of maize grains was between 1600 and 1700 BIF, even if maize and beans were in small quantities during Minister Niteretse’s visit.
As for the bunches of bananas, the prices varied between 10,000 and 25,000 BIF or more, depending on their size. In that market, it has been observed that a large number of sellers come very early in the morning from Bujumbura City Council, thus causing the momentary change in price by the fact that they buy as wholesalers and become retailers on the site.
It was also noted that the price of a kilo of meat cost 9000 BIF as set in Muramvya province. Nevertheless, the butchers met on the site indicated to the Minister that they work at a loss, owing to the fact that, in the market for cattle to be slaughtered, they meet the butchers of the city of Bujumbura who sell at home the kilogram of meat at a price higher than 12000 BIF and their customers have a purchasing power compared to those of the Gasange market. One of the butchers of that market specified that on the same day of the visit, three cows were slaughtered instead of 7 or 8, normally slaughtered before the fixing of the price of meat at 9000 BIF per kilogram in Muramvya province. With that, the minister said he took note of the situation.
Mr. Niteretse continued his trip to the central market of Gitega. According to him, the lamentations that food prices have become very high and are scarce in the market, are unfounded because, he said, different food products are in sufficient quantity in the market and that prices begin to fall compared to the previous situation.
To that end, the minister in charge of community development called on traders to keep prices stable and to avoid speculation on food products, especially at this time when the harvest of cropping season A is ready, to sell them to the outside the country. He also suggested that farmers and the general population take good care of national production so as not to be transported to neighboring countries.
Despite this, the people of Gitega reaffirm that current food prices are higher than in previous months. For example, a kilo of last quality beans costs 2,600 BIF when in December, it cost between 1,900 and 2,000 BIF. The price of lower quality rice varies between 3150 to 3300 BIF.