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Food prices remain high despite ad valorem tax exemption


Apr 19, 2023

BUJUMBURA April 19th (ABP) – Food prices remain high in the city of Bujumbura despite the measure ordering the exemption of the ad valorem tax of 1.5% on these products, which was taken by the ministry in charge of Finance on March 30, 2023,  a check on the site by ABP has revealed, Monday April 17, 2023.

Through that ordinance of March 30, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, specified that the imports which benefit from the exemption from the ad valorem tax of 1.5% of the customs value are those of products foodstuffs including dry beans, rice, cassava flour, sugar, maize flour, cassava and maize seeds.

At the so-called COTEBU market, as well as in the shops of Ntahangwa commune (north of the economic capital), the prices of certain products experienced a slight decrease varying between 100 BIF and 300 BIF, while others remained unchanged.

The price of the bean commonly called “Kajekaramana” is always bought at 3800 BIF per kilo. As for the variety of bean called “yellow bean”, it experienced a decrease of 100 BIF falling from 4100 to 4000 BIF.

The ABP also found that the prices of rice imported from Pakistan and Tanzania remained unchanged. They sell for 4000BIF and 4600BIF respectively, while locally produced rice has seen a decrease of 300BIF. It dropped from 3800 to 3500BIF.

The price of maize flour remained unchanged. Imported corn flour sells for 3200 Fbu per kilo against 2600 Fbu per kilo for flour produced locally. In addition, the price of corn seeds varies between 1750 and 2000 BIF per kilo, whereas before the measure of the Ministry in charge of Finance they were sold at 2000 BIF per kilo.

The sellers of those products interviewed by the ABP indicate that this measure is slow to produce effects, given that they are in the process of emptying old stocks of goods that they bought at exorbitant prices. “I have a stock of 500 kg of maize that I bought at a very high price, how I can sell it cheaper?” remarked a trader I met at the COTEBU market.