Rise in food price seriously affects families in Gitega

Food price has drastically increased these days in Gitega central market and shops. Consumers deplore speculation.

Bags of foodstuffs in Gitega central market

When one arrives at the central market of Gitega province chief town in central Burundi, stands and stalls are full of products. Standing in front of the business owner, Claudine came to get supplies of oil, corn flour and onions. She notes that prices have increased.
“Rice is expensive, tomatoes are expensive, everything is expensive,” she complains.

Most of customers who come to Gitega central market deplore he fact that food price has drastically increased. The rice price has increased from BIF 1,800 to 2,000 per kg while 1 kg of beans currently costs BIF 1,400 with an increase of BIF 300, explains a retailer.

Lionnella is also surprised by the price increase in food products. She used to buy one kg of palm oil at BIF 3000, but it now costs BIF 5000. She adds that Mukeke fish has become scarce and very expensive while 1kg of meat currently costs BIF 8,000. One kg of cassava flour costs BIF 550 with an increase of BIF 150.

“No one is responsible!”

Erica, a young mother of three lives in Magarama neighborhood. She deplores this surge in food prices. “All food has become very expensive.” The rise in prices significantly affects customers as well as traders. We hear merchants and customers everywhere haggling over the price of food.

Traders say the increase in prices is dictated by the current economic situation. “Even if these prices go up, our profit margin does not increase,” says Sylvestre. Trying to give an explanation for the rising prices of these commodities, the traders argue that this situation is linked to the increase in taxes on goods and the depreciation of the Burundian currency though consumers accuse them of speculating.

Written by Jean Noel Manirakiza and translated by Lorraine Josiane Manishatse