Rwanda: Inyange milk prices soar due to supply shortage
Consumers have to dip into their pockets to pay for Inyange’s milk, the prices of which have halved in some stores amid severe shortages across the country.
While producers, Inyange Industries Ltd, attributed the shortage to the dry season, which resulted in reduced production at the farm level, especially in the Eastern Province – he said factory prices had fallen. not changed.
James Biseruka, chief executive of Inyange Industries, said prices are regulated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
“We maintained the same price at which we sold milk to distributors,” he told The New Times.
A box of a dozen half-liter packs of milk costs 4,500 Rwf at the factory price. The wholesaler is supposed to sell it at 4,800 Rwf to retailers, while the end consumer is expected to buy it at 5,000 Rwf, Biseruka said.
However, instead of setting it at 5,000 Rwf, some traders in Kigali sell it at different prices, some at 7,500 Rwf, others at 9,000 Rwf.
Biseruka said the high prices are due to speculative traders along the supply chain.
Inyange’s processed milk production has halved due to a lack of supply to farmers.
In Nyagatare district, for example – one of the most milk-producing districts in the country – where they collected 100,000 liters in milk collection centers, the supply was reduced by more than 80% to some 13 000 liters, said Biseruka.
In some areas, the supply shortage is so severe that traders went months without receiving supplies from the factory.
Meanwhile, Biseruka has dismissed claims that Inyange Industries secured a lucrative deal in the Central African Republic and therefore shipped the products there.
“We are targeting the export market … but the top priority is the local market. When we have satisfied the local market, we move on to export,” he said.
Cassien Karangwa, director of domestic trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said the long dry season has caused a shortage of fodder and water for cows, resulting in reduced milk production, and some traders have exploited the situation in prices.
Rwanda’s long dry season runs from June to August, but Karangwa said it extended until September of this year.
Karangwa warned traders against illegal price hikes.
“We will step up the inspection,” he said, warning of potential penalties that may be imposed to enforce competition and consumer protection laws.
Decrease in milk supply in large factories
According to data from the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), on the comparison of the milk supply of the main dairy factories during the current dry season versus the rainy season, there was a significant drop caused by the former.
He indicated that the Inyange postman in Masaka, Kigali receives between 40,000 and 50,000 liters against 100,000 to 120,000 liters per day during the rainy season.
Savannah Dairy in Nyagatare district, a subsidiary of Inyange industries receives between 10,000 and 11,000 liters against 70,000 to 80,000 liters while Mukamira Dairy in Nyabihu district (owned by Inyange) receives between 10,000 and 13 000 liters during the rainy season currently receives 18,000 and 20,000 liters.
Nyanza Dairy (in Nyanza district) receives between 5,000 and 6,000 liters of milk per day compared to 16,000 to 18,000 liters during the rainy season; while Giheke Dairy in Rusizi district collects between 3,000 and 4,000 liters compared to 6,000 to 7,000 liters.
Meanwhile, Samuel Nkuranga, an unprocessed milk merchant in Kigali, told the New Times that its price had increased slightly due to the dry season.
“Around June, I was buying milk from farmers at Rwf200 per liter, but I paid Rwf230 per liter during the dry season,” he said.
“While I used to sell the milk between 300 Rwf to my clients, they now have to pay 370 Rwf per liter,” he said.
Among the actions aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the milk supply even during the dry season, the RAB cited the extension of fodder cultivation areas, the increase in grass storage, as well as the guarantee of availability. water for the consumption of cows, in particular thanks to the collection of rainwater.