…And Trade Ministry Reveals Country Has Adequate Essential Food Commodities for the next three months
By Ndey Sowe
The Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment has revealed that through its continuous monitoring and engagements with relevant stakeholders on essential food commodities with a view to ensuring availability and affordability, it has observed that the stock levels for most of the essential food commodities being monitored are adequate for the next three months.
“The stock level for the week of 8th February compared to the week of 2nd February 2021 has increased by 123.2% for sugar at 42,482 Metric Tons, 23% for flour at 1,484 Metric Tons and 194.5% for onions at 123,915 bags. The stocks of rice, edible oil and potatoes are as well adequate for the next three months at 28, 618 Metric Tons, 313,291 liters and 41240 bags respectively,” the ministry states in a dispatch.
Similarly, the Ministry has also observed that wholesale prices of most of the essential commodities are generally stabilizing during the week under review. According to the dispatch, at the retail front, average retail prices of some of these essential food commodities are rising disproportionately as observed in Banjul, Greater Banjul Area and in the provinces based on their weekly price monitoring.
“In view of this, the Ministry convened a consultative meeting with major retailers on Monday 15th February 2021 to understand the causes of the abnormal gaps between the wholesale and retail prices. It was reported that the major importers ration the supply to the retailers and this contributes to the price distortion”, the dispatch added.
In light of the above, the Ministry stated that it will continue to engage with the major importers and hereby informs the general public that such practices are not in line with the spirit of free market and as such should be ceased.
“Failure to do so will result in the implementation of the needed tools to address the situation,” it stated.