• Sun. May 19th, 2024

In the face of soaring food prices, increased agricultural production is essential


May 3, 2024

GITEGA, May 3rd (ABP) – The rural farmers we met at the central market in Gitega (in the center of the country) believe that increasing production is the most appropriate strategy for curbing the soaring prices of foodstuffs currently being seen on the markets.

Those prices are worrying consumers, who say that the situation is untenable for them. They told ABP with regret that the 10,000 BIF note, previously highly valued, can now only buy a kilo of rice, which varies between 3,500 BIF and 5,000 Fbu, depending on quality, and beans for the same price.

Similar price speculation can also be seen for cassava (1,200 BIF/kg), cocoyam and sweet potato (700 BIF/kilo), bananas cost between 5,000 and 20,000 Fbu, depending on weight, and potatoes (1,800-1900 BIF/kg).

Civil servants interviewed by ABP said that making ends meet had become a headache.

Reacting to those concerns, the farmers said that there were too many mouths to feed compared to the number of agricultural producers.

Melchior Manariyo, from the Mutoyi area in the Bugendana commune, said that the rural world is losing its lifeblood, namely its young people, to urban or semi-urban centers. Some go there for delinquency, others for jobs that pay less than farming, citing, among other things, work as a builder’s helper, washing dishes in restaurants, washing rolling stock, babysitting children, itinerant trade and so on.

As for Anne-Marie Rurihose, from the Mubuga area in the commune of Gitega, there are still others who go there for unspoken reasons, pointing the finger at the young girls who go to the urban centers to work as prostitutes or, in the case of boys, to steal.

Those two speakers agreed in recommending that the administrative authorities get the population they are responsible for, from all socio-professional categories, involved in farming. Even civil servants in the public and private sectors should not shy away from that, they insisted.