Saturday, February 4, 2023

Gambians Continue To Bicker Over Surging Food Prices

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By Makutu Manneh

Gambians continue to bicker over the continuous surge in the prices of basic food items in the country by voicing that life and the cost of living is getting more and more difficult.

After visiting markets and shops in the West Coast Region and Kanifing Municipality respectively, it has been observed that food prices in these places vary.

Retailers and wholesalers in different communities of these areas have their own prices they are selling the essential commodities for.

In Brufut, West Coast Region, this is the prices for some essential commodities; a bag of American Rice (50kg) costs D 1725, a bag of Fas Rice costs D2150, a bag of sugar costs D2275, a gallon of 20 litre oil D 1750, a bag of Irish potato D1220, and a bag of onion D1125.

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For Brikama, these are the prices; a bag of American Rice (50kg) costs D1,700; a bag of Fas Rice (50kg) costs D2,100, a bag of sugar costs D2,300, a bag of onion costs D825, a gallon of 20 litre oil costs D2,800, a bag of Irish potato costs D850.

In Kanifing Municipality (Bakoteh and Serrekunda Market) a bag of 50kg American Rice costs D1,750; a bag of Fas Rice costs D2,100; a bag of sugar costs D2,325; a bag of onion costs D850; a gallon of 20 litre oil costs D2,850, a bag of Irish potato costs D975.

Matida Sanyang, a customer met at the Bakoteh market, said livelihood is getting tougher and tougher for her family because of the continuous increase in the prices of food commodities.

She said every day when she comes to the market, the price of particular commodities will be increased.

“There is no price control in this market, everybody is selling at their own prices, and as a consumer, you have no choice but to abide by,” she said.

Awa Badjie, who was found shopping for her family’s lunch at the Serrekunda market, said her expenses increase every day and noted that she just buys what is needed for a dish she will be cooking and not what she wants in order to make the dish more delicious.

“I do my best to support my husband. He earns a little from his job so we have to manage the little we have,” she said.

Ms Badjie called on the government to help control the prices of essential commodities in the market.

Ebrima Bah, a corner shopkeeper, said the increase in the prices of commodities is not their fault as they also buy the items at a high cost.  He said it’s not his will to sell food items at a high price.

“My customers complain to me every day, but I cannot do anything about it,” he said. “I am selling in this shop to make a living so I cannot sell at a loss.”

All the people who spoke to Foroyaa on this burning issue, called on the government to control prices in the markets.

The wholesalers contacted do not want to share why the prices of basic commodities are expensive or where they believe the problem lies.

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