Rwanda: Fish consumers grumble over hike in price of Sambaza

Consumers of fish in Rwanda have bemoaned the high cost of Sambaza, a locally fried sardine sold in the Kimironko market of Kigali, the country’s capital.

According to reports, a kilogram Sambaza is sold for between Rwf8,000 and Rwf9,000 at the Kimironko market, compared to the fresh (raw) which sells for Rwf4,000.

Speaking to Rwanda’s New Times on the hike in price, Ms. Francine, a fish consumer, who bemoaned the high cost said it was getting difficult purchasing the fish, due to its high price.

“Rwf9,000 for a kilogram of sardine fish is a high cost, but I manage to cover it because I want such fish for nutritious food. We need support to get the fish at a lower price,” she appealed

An increase in the price of fish in Rwanda has been one of the major challenges facing the sector due to financial constraints and lack of quality feed that tend to hamper the efforts of fish farmers.

Fish dealers revealed that the difference in the price of fried and fresh fish was a result of the former’s processing cost and the resulting expense.

Reinforcing the general increase in price claim, the dealers concurred with the fish producers that the price increase was also caused by the production drop in Lake Kivu where they have usually been bred.

“Around January 2020, we were buying fried sambaza at Rwf6,000 a kilogramme and selling it at Rwf7,000; but now, we buy it at Rwf7,000 and sell it at Rwf8,000.

“The fish produce is small, which leads to rising prices on the market,” said Scolastique Mukamusana, a fried sardine trader.

On his part, the Deputy Director General of Animal Research and Technology Transfer at Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB), Solange Uwituze said the value chain was also a contributor to the increase in price.

She said, “In the value chain of Sambaza, from the landing site there are many actors, so we are planning to organize this value chain to make this product affordable for consumers”.

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