By Ndey Sowe
A press release from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE) to the media on Friday 14th January 2022, stated that shortage in flour which culminated in the scarcity of bread in the country, was due to shortage of production encountered simultaneously by the two producer Companies of the product operating in the country, and is a rare occurrence in the history of the sector. The two Companies according to the release, are GMC Corporation and Nessim Company Ltd.
“In the case of Nessim, it was due to lack of power supply from NAWEC, compounded by faulty generators. As for GMC, it was due to power supply issues and a delay in receiving wheat supplies due to freight issues. The ship carrying the stock for GMC is expected to arrive in Banjul on 26th January 2022”, the release said.
Seedy Keita, an official of the Ministry, said the flour sector is supported through a range of incentives for industrialization in the country; that this is important to ensure long term economic growth; that there are only two flour milling Companies in the country.
“The power issues are now resolved and production has started. Flour supplies are now flowing and bakers should have adequate supply of flour by Saturday, January 15th 2022”, the release highlighted.
Moreover, the Trade Ministry further assured the continuation of engagements with NESSIM and GMC on flour price issues with a view to minimize increments; that similar engagements will continue with bakers to avoid a recurrence and the escalation of prices.
Bread scarcity has become a national issue as the whole country experiences its shortage.
Last week, the country experienced bread scarcity when bakers alleged that there was an increase in the price of wheat and they cannot run at a loss daily, if the price of bread was not increased.