By: Kebba AF Touray
The 2021 New Year has ushered in escalated prices of basic food commodities effective 1st January 2021. No one doubts that the year 2020, was a difficult one globally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the imposition of restrictive measures by world leaders, to contain the further spread of the pandemic and the Gambia is no exception. This increment of the prices of basic food commodities will undoubtedly compound the difficulties of the citizenry especially the poor, in their search for a living to provide for their families.
To ascertain the current prices of basic food commodities, this reporter ventured out to businesses and markets to seek the current prices of basic commodities from business persons.
One shopkeeper at Latrikunda market Abodul R. Jallow, told this reporter that a 50kgs bag of American rice costs D1,250; 50kgs bag of sugar D1,350; 20-liter container of cooking oil at D1,200 and a bag of onion at D550.
Visiting a shop in Banjul, one Sheikh Njie told this reporter that a 50kgs bag of American rice was costing D1,250; sugar at D1,300; bag of onion was costing D600; 20-liter gallon of cooking oil was costing D1,250 and a bag of Irish potato was costing D600.
In Wuli East, Alasana Sowe who is a native of Kolley Kunda and dealer in retail trading on rice, sugar and oil, confirmed to this medium that a 50kgs bag of rice costs D1,300; sugar at D1,350; onion at D550 and cooking oil at D1,300.
“The reason for the increase of fifty dalasi is what the drivers charge for the transportation of the commodities from Basse to Kolley Kunda, approximately 47 kilometers from Basse,” Sowe told this reporter.
According to some breadwinners who were interviewed by this reporter, the price hike in basic commodities is an issue that Government should urgently look into, to assist them.
Most of them said 2020 has been a difficult year, particularly with the outbreak of COVID-19 which led to the closure of businesses and workplaces by the authorities, to combat the spread of the pandemic. That the authorities should look into the high price attached to the commodities to make them affordable through price control mechanisms to ensure traders comply with the regulations set by the authorities.