Rwandan fruit sellers have complained about the lack of mangoes on the market due to declining production in the last few years. Mangoes are now more rare, mostly due to local trees that have been affected by ‘strange’ diseases, with only a few professional farmers managing to control them.
Théoneste Twizeyimana, a Rwamagana market fruit seller stated that he doesn’t sell mangoes anymore: “I haven’t sold mangoes in a long time although I do have other fruits. Our clients always inquire about mangoes, they love them a lot, but in this whole market, you cannot find any,” he added.
Donatha Uwizeye, another trader, said: “Pests attacked mango trees sometimes and the trees turned black and were unable to produce. Unfortunately, we didn’t have medicine for the pest. The small mangoes you see here are of a traditional variety, but they are few and of very poor quality.”
Vestine Mukasakindi, a fruit vendor in Rwamagana market, said she stopped selling mangoes after prices of those from Tanzania hiked: “A sack of mangoes from Tanzania is currently purchased at Rwf90,000. We used to purchase it for Rwf30,000, but that was in the past; no trader in Rwamagana can purchase those mangoes.”
She further added that a bag of mangoes from Tanzania contains around 150 mangoes. “Buyers in this market normally want to buy one mango for Rwf300, or a very big one for Rwf500, but now, if one wants that fruit, they will have to pay Rwf800 or 1,000 for one mango. A kilo of those mangoes is Rwf2,000. A kilo usually has 2 mangoes”.
Marie-Claire Ntabana is a mango farmer in Nyagatare District in the Eastern province and has 1,415 active mango trees on 10 hectares, where she harvests around 150,200 tons per season.
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