FOOD prices are slowly going up in Dar es Salaam and the rest of the country ahead of the festive season.
According to a survey by the 'Daily News', there is a relative increase of over 10 per cent on various commodities such as beans, spices, maize flour and meat.
A random survey at Kariakoo market revealed that Grade One rice, which was previously selling at 1,900/- a kilogram is now hovering around 2,200/- whereas the lower grade rice that was previously sold at 1,700/- per kilo is now selling at 1900/-.
At Tandika market, there has been an increase in prices of commodities such as beans, spices, maize flour, meat and other essentials. The price of beef at many Dar es Salaam butcheries also have shot up from the previous 6,000/- to 6,500/- a kilogramme whereby in other places like Buguruni on the outskirts of the city, the price has relatively gone down to the previous 6,000/- per kilo.
The price of maize flour on the other hand has gone up from the previous 800/-a kilo to 1,000/-. A recap of commodity prices around the country availed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to this paper shows a slight increase in some commodities, though some changes still remain insignificant.
In other parts of the country, the statistics show that food prices have not changed much since last Friday of the previous week. Prices show that in Arusha, 100 kilogrammes of beans exchange hands for 130,000/-, and 62 kg of maize sells at 64,000/-, 140kg of rice costs 200,000/- and 75kg of wheat stands at - 80,000/-.
It shows that 100kg of Irish potatoes sells at 120,000/-. On average, prices in Dar es Salaam show that 145kg of beans sell at 200,000/-, 70kg of maize (80,000/-), 160kg of rice (220,000/-,) 90kg of wheat (120,000/-), 60kg of Irish potatoes (110,000/-). In Dodoma, 170kg of beans cost 180,000/-, 180kg of rice (200,000/-), 55kg of Irish potatoes (60,000/-).
In Mbeya, 125kg of beans goes for 180,000/-, 50 kgs of maize ( 60,000/-). Mr Mcharo Peter, a trader at Kariakoo market says the food prices are being driven mainly by the festive season preparations. "People have started preparing for the festive season as whatever is being bought from upcountry is targeting Christmas and end of year", he says. He adds that transport costs are also to blame on high prices.