The GOVERNMENT has assured Tanzanians that there are no areas that will lack food as they have sufficient reserves while stressing that the price of many products including food is cheaper in Tanzania compared to other countries of the East African Community (EAC).

In addition, it has been said that it is a legal offense for traders to arbitrarily increase the price of products, especially food, especially during the Christmas and New Year holidays and that a trader who does so may be charged with economic sabotage.

The Deputy Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade, Exaud Kigahe said this in Dar es Salaam yesterday when he was talking about the price trend of important products in the country for the month of December 2022.

"Through fair competition, there are various measures against those who violate and raise prices arbitrarily, including canceling the license or being brought to court because that is economic sabotage," said Kigahe.

Kigahe noted that the government is making various efforts to control inflation in the country, including subsidizing fuel, which reduced transportation costs and reduced some taxes on raw materials for production.

He said that due to the government's efforts, many products including food and construction materials are cheaper compared to some EAC member countries.

"The availability of petroleum products in the world that contribute to price inflation has continued to improve and the prices of these products have continued to fall, thus reducing the cost of importation, transportation and importation of products and raw materials used in production from abroad," he said.

Confirming the low price of produce in the country compared to other EAC countries, Kigahe said that according to the World Food Program (WFP) and Global Product Prices, in Uganda the price of cooking oil has averaged Shs 7,900;

Shs 8,000 in Rwanda;

Sh 10,000 in Kenya;

but for Tanzania it is an average of Sh 6,200.

"Maize is an average of 1,500 Sh in Rwanda, 1,850 in Uganda, 1,880 in Kenya, but in Tanzania it is 1,275 Sh.

"In addition, the price of maize flour is an average of Sh2,200 in Rwanda, Sh2,500 in Uganda, Sh2,538 in Kenya, but in Tanzania it is an average of Sh1,625," he said.

He added: "The average price of rice for Rwanda is Sh2,700, Sh3,500 in Uganda and Sh4,136 in Kenya, but for Tanzania it is only Sh2,850."

Explaining the situation, the Deputy Minister said: "Despite inflation due to the effects of the war between Russia and Ukraine, other disasters such as Covid-19 and drought, inflation in Tanzania is the lowest compared to neighboring countries. "

He added: "In Tanzania, inflation for the month of November is 4.9 percent;

Kenya 7.38 percent, Uganda 10.6 percent and Rwanda 21.7 percent.”

He said the government has instructed Tamisemi to ensure that the relevant areas have a common market in order to make traders, including big ones from abroad, to buy the produce in the market instead of in the field or at home using the illegal tests of 'lumbesa' and 'kangomba'.

"This measure will also help to raise[1] the council's income through taxes..." he said.