By Awa Touray / Nelson Manneh
Bikers who serve as the middlemen in the distribution of bread from bakeries to shops, have on Tuesday told these reporters that they are not responsible for the scarcity of bread and are not part of the price negotiation that is ongoing.
The bikers said they only serve as middlemen in the distribution of bread and go home to their families with the little profit they make daily. The bikers spoke to these reporters yesterday the 16th of April 2019, when they visited various bakeries and sales outlets where bread is sold.
Momodou Wurry, a biker and supplier in one of the bakeries at Wellingara, denied that they are responsible for the price of bread; that the owners of bakeries are the ones who demanded for an increment in the price.
“If they do not want the increment of the price of bread, they would have continued to bake bread and see whether we will not distribute it,” he said.
These middleman in the bread distribution chain, told Foroyaa that there are certain bakeries within the country, that want the price of bread increased.
“We are ordinary suppliers. We do not have any hand in the increment or reduction on the price of bread. The bakers are responsible. I heardd them saying that the price of flour has increased, so they also have to increase the price of bread,” he said.
Omar Camara, another supplier said he is not in support of the bread price increment that people complain about; that if the price is increased, it will affect everybody including them, in one way or the other.
“For us distributors, the bakers just give us to supply. Therefore, we cannot change anything especially the price, because we are just distributors,” he said.
From the side of Flour Importers:
Jim Jobe is the head of the marketing department at the Gambia Milling Company (GMC) in Banjul. When contacted to shed light on the information on the purported increase in the price of flour, Jobe denied this and said the price of flour has not been increased.
“We are still selling a bag of flour at the same price like before. Here at GMC, no attempt has been made to do so and I am sure if other Companies have done so, they would have consulted us,” he said.
Jobe said the cause of bread scarcity can be attributed to the lack of enough bakeries in the country; that the Kanalai Family Farm and bakery is no more operating, which he said can contribute to the shortage in the most used staple food in the country. He added that if demand for bread is more than the supply, it can cause this problem.
Abdoulie Jammeh, the Deputy Director at the Ministry of Trade, said they will have an indoor meeting with stakeholders and update the press by issuing a press release if the need arises; adding the press will not be invited to this indoor meeting.
DG Jammeh said the meeting will be a discussion with various associations that are stakeholders in the issue.