Among the statistics that were announced on this Tuesday November 10th, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages have increased by 16.2% compared to last year and by 3.7% compared to the previous month of October.
Mwizerwa Jean Claude, Ag. Director of Economic Statistics Department at NISR told IGIHE that this increase in prices resulted from an increase in prices of maize, beans and meat given that those are the essential meals consumed in Rwanda.
“The crop yield tends to reduce towards the end of the year and the demand is higher than the supply which explains the continuous increase in prices.”
Mwizerwa added that the increase in prices is not in any way related to the ongoing conflict between Uganda and Rwanda as it is rumored and gave an example on beans which price increased enormously even though it is not a commodity that is imported.
“The beans we consume in Rwanda are grown locally. Linking the increase in the price of beans to the conflict between Rwanda and Uganda is totally unreasonable because we even produce for foreign markets like Congo. Another fact is that food prices are hiking not only in Rwanda but in the Great Lakes region meaning it is not just a problem with Rwanda. For example, maize prices are high across the region and not just in Rwanda.”
NISR shows that the prices of non-alcoholic beverages and cigarettes increased by 17.2% in November 2019 compared to 9.9% in November 2018. Regarding clothes and shoes, the prices increased by 8.3% compared to last year and 0.5% compared to October.
NISR report also shows that internal products prices increased by 7.5% compared to last year and 2.3% compared to October, 2019 while the prices of imports increased by 4.9% compared to last year and 0.7% compared to October 2019.
The prices of fresh produce like beans, vegetables and other increased by 25.3% compared to last year and 6.7% compared to October 2019.
Mwizerwa says this is a pressing issue because an increase in prices should not exceed 5%.
“Whenever an increase in prices is higher than 5% it is an important problem to be immediately dealt with. We are responsible of publishing these statistics but there are other authorities working on solving this issue within the shortest delay.”
NISR also shows that apart from food, energy prices have increased by 1.6% compared to last year and 2% compared to October, 2019.