Rwanda sets new prices for rice, maize flour and Irish potatoes to alleviate high living cost

On 20 April 2023 at 06:58

Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry has taken decisive action to address the country’s increased food prices by eliminating Value Added Tax (VAT) on essential food items.

This move, made in consultation with private sector representatives, targets maize flour and rice, as well as Irish potatoes, which will now feature a reduced price seal.

According to a statement released on April 19, 2023, this decision follows market findings that exposed traders taking advantage of the ongoing economic crisis by significantly increasing food prices to generate extraordinary profits.

In March 2023, Rwanda’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the main measure of inflation, rose by 19.3 percent year on year, compared to 20.8 percent in February 2023.

According to National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), The prices of local products increased by 20.8 percent year on year and 2.2 percent month on month.

Meanwhile, the prices of imported products increased by 14.8 percent year on year and 0.6 percent month on month.

The prices of fresh products increased by 53 percent year on year and 5.3 percent month on month.

To mitigate this issue, the ministry has implemented new pricing structures for essential food items, including maize, rice, and Irish potatoes.

As per new prices, a kilogram of dry maize has been set at Rwf500 from around Rwf1,000 while and maize flour is Rwf800, down from Rwf1,300.

For rice, the price of short rice grains has been set at Rwf820 from around Rwf1,200; long rice grain at Rwf850, down from Rwf1,500; and Basmati rice at Rwf1,455 from over Rwf2,000.

As for Irish potatoes, the updated prices are: Rwf460 for Kinigi potatoes, down from Rwf600; Rwf440 for Kirundo Irish potatoes, reduced from Rwf550; Rwf430 for Twihaze potatoes and Rwf410 for Peko Irish potatoes.

This price adjustment substantially reduces the cost of these staple foods for Rwandan citizens.

Consumers and traders have expressed optimism that this measure, along with the government’s recent reduction in fuel prices, will help to lower the overall cost of living.

Additionally, Rwanda is working to further decrease food prices by revamping its trade-focused bilateral relationship with the Republic of Serbia, aiming to import more affordable cereals into the country.

This multifaceted approach demonstrates the Rwandan government’s commitment to addressing the economic challenges faced by its citizens.

Potatoes are among popular foods in Rwanda.
The government has announced new prices for rice and maize flour.