By Nelson Manneh
Barely half a year since the price of a loaf of bread was reduced from D7 to D6, consumers have started complaining that the former bread price of D7, has been restored.
On Friday November 2nd 2018 saw this reporter on a vox-pop tour of the Kanifing Municipality and the Brikama communities, and found that all shops in these areas, sell a loaf of bread at D7.
Some of the shopkeepers told Foroyaa that since the price of a loaf of bread was reduced to D6 they were just selling without any profit.
“This was not favourable for us. We are also breadwinners of our families, and we feed them from the gains we make from the bread trade,” they said. Omar Jallow, a supplier in Serrekunda, said bakers have agreed not to bake bread if the price continues as it is now, because they are not making any gains. “Business goes with profit. In the Gambia, bread is part of the basic food staple that is consumed daily. Government needs to look in to the issue and address it for all to gain,” he said; that the price of flour need to be reduced before talking about the price of bread itself.
Abdourhaman Bah, a baker in Tallinding said the price of flour is what determines the price of a loaf of bread. “We do not just increase the price of bread because we want to, but the situation forces us to do so,” he said; that consumers should know it is not their fault and they need to cooperate with them; that otherwise they may decide not bake bread by folding their arms in a sit-down.
Some consumers also complained to shop keepers in the presence of the reporter, that they are faulting the orders of the Ministry.
Mariama Fadera, a lady vendor in her late 60s, said she does not know where the country is heading towards. “It is only in the Gambia that prices of commodities can increase but will never reduce. Government should be aware of this. The value of the Dalasi is falling gradually and days will come, we will suffer for this,” she said.
This reporter visited the Ministry of Trade and Employment on Friday to find out more information on the development on this issue, but was told that both the Permanent Secretary and Minister were busy.