Selling off premature harvests is common in sectors neighboring with DRC where farmers sell crops yet to be harvested to be reaped by buyers.
According to district officials, this has deprived the farmers of huge profits that they would have reaped, if they had sold the produce during the harvest season.
Some merchants say the sale of premature crops leads into a chaotic market that cooperatives encounter loss over failure to obtain enough commodities.
“We often face the shortage of commodities because Congolese buy premature crops before harvest. Many of us got bank loans but failed to pay because the market is chaotic,” said Bahati Jacqueline, a vendor of fruits in Bugarama sector
The sale of premature crops was reported in Rusizi district since 2015.
The mayor of Rusizi district, Ephrem Kayumba has told IGIHE that farmers should not rely on such trade noting that whoever caught red handed shall be penalized.
“We have instituted regulations that everyone should sell mature crops. Selling them prematurely incurs losses to farmers. Whoever found bleaching the regulation shall be subject to appropriate penalties,” he said.
Some of cross border commodities grown in Rusizi district include maize, mean cassava, vegetables and fruits like mango and oranges.