By Muhammed S Bah / Nelson Manneh / Awa Touray
The Senfour Modern Bakeries Association has indicated that trading by middlepersons is responsible for the hike in the price for bread.
In a press statement issued by the Association, it listed a number of problems the bakers are going through in their production cost, and urged the public not to be pointing fingers on them as the root cause of the problem.
“Although it is convenient to blame increased prices on bakery owners, it is crucial to comprehend the full picture,” the press statement underscored. It added that “When bread is sold at D7, the average profit breakdowns are as follows: D4.50 for production, 50 Butut bakery profit, D1.25 Biker’s profit, 75 Butut shopkeeper’s profit.” The statement went on to highlight the capital investment of the trade, which the Association stated has declined. “It is also important to note that capital investments for bakery owners range from 3 million to 6 million Dalasis versus the cost of a motorcycle or bicycle for bikers,” adding “Unfortunately profit margins this low are unsustainable for bakery owners, who also have to consider equipment replacement and breakdowns and other expenses involved in supporting and growing their business.”
The statement further states that “Our profits have reached this level because we were forced to give in to the aggressive demands of bikers (suppliers) that deliver to the public.”
The release also states that there is a drop in wholesale prices, which is said to have created a major economic crisis within bakeries.
While confirming the shortage of bread, the Association said they are working closely with the government to address the ongoing crisis.
The Association urged the public to buy bread directly from Bakeries rather than the bikers or third parties which they believe will reduce a burden of cost on them.
The Association has also advised the public who are facing bread problem to contact 247-2445, in order to help direct people to the nearest bakery for easy access.
In conclusion, they expressed willingness and commitment towards working with Government to address the issues of bread scarcity.
Many Bakeries within the Greater Banjul Area have stopped baking bread. People can still be seen struggling to get bread especially the common ‘Senfour’.
A Bakery in Churchill’s town was visited and was found closed. Workers were found seated in a Bakery situated at Westfield, at a time when the proprietor was said to be out. One of the workers when questioned said they were still baking but in smaller quantity, and have not increased the price.
“We are still selling bread at the normal price but other shops around are not happy with us. They want us to increase the price or stop baking as at now,” he said.
He added that other Bakeries around are angry with them because they did not increase their own.
When asked about the price of flour, the worker at the said bakery responded that he does not know the price; that he is just a baker and his boss was the one who buys it.
Many other Bakeries around Serrekunda market and the city of Banjul, were visited but most of them were seen closed including the Kanilai Bakery at Traffic Lights.
Abdoulie Jammeh, Deputy Director at the Ministry of Trade told Foroyaa that they will be meeting with stakeholders on Tuesday 16th of April 2019. “As at now, I have nothing to say concerning this matter,” he told this reporter.
Foroyaa will keep readers informed on developments.