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HomeNewsRwanda: Inquiry Into Food Price Hikes Should Leave No Stone Unturned

Rwanda: Inquiry Into Food Price Hikes Should Leave No Stone Unturned

The government has said it’s commissioned an inquiry into soaring food prices in the country, with particular attention paid to factors driving up prices of Irish potatoes.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices in urban areas increased by nearly 30 per cent in August compared to the same month last year, according to the Consumer Price Index by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.

Globally, food prices have sharply risen, fuelled in part by surges in fuel prices – pushing the cost of living up.

As a result, at least partially, Rwanda, and indeed in much of the developing world, farmers are currently struggling to access essential inputs, such as high quality seeds and fertilizer.

Still, there is a sense that local food prices have been distorted by several factors (some preventable) – explaining why the Ministry of Trade and Industry is now looking into the matter.

The intervention is not the first, as the government has previously attempted to streamline issues particularly around the Irish potatoes supply chain.

Nonetheless, there has been little progress, if any, and complaints have really never gone away. Some farmers have even switched to other crops where they expect greater rewards.

Recent disruptions in the global supply chains have admittedly made the situation much worse for the agriculture sector, just as everyone was hoping for a quick rebound from Covid-19 impacts.

That the farm gate price of a kilogramme of Irish potatoes has reached Rwf500, three times higher than it was last year, speaks to a worrying trend that calls for close scrutiny.