May 15, 2009, 7:19 AM
Reports gathered by this paper have shown a significant reduction in the price of rice, the country's staple food.
According to our sources, the price of flour has also been reduced as of yesterday from D660 to D620.
The price of rice according to some of the major rice importers, who spoke to this reporter, has since been reduced for some three months now.
For instance the Pakistani brand, which used to be D780 is now available at D620, the Thailand 50 % broken type used to be sold at D840 and now D750, the 100% broken which was selling at D800 is now D720. Meanwhile, in some stores you can have broken rice at D650 and D750 respectively depending on the quality.
The long grain 25% broken type is also available in some stores at D650 while the price for 5% long broken and Saddam types are sold at D800 and D900 respectively. Despite some reduction the price of these two are still expensive for most consumers.
One major company engaged in the importation of rice into the country for over 20 years, is George Banna Company limited.
According to the company's Sales and Marketing Officer, Mr. Michael Aziz, the global financial crisis is cracking down to the Gambia thus affecting the business of basic commodities such as rice.
He however revealed that the multilateral companies dictate the price of commodities at the expense of the poor buyers.
Speaking to this reporter at his office in Banjul on Monday, Mr. Azzi urged Gambians to answer to the clarion call of the Gambian leader for people to go back to the land. He maintained that people need to eat what they grow otherwise we have to buy from the growers at an exorbitant prices.
He expressed his disappointment with some Gambians regarding their attitudes towards farming.
He was referring to the tractors and other farming implements government normally gives to farmers, which he said were most of the time mismanaged.
With commitment and dedication towards farming, he believes The Gambia can attain food self-sufficiency.
A Mauritanian businessman, who lives in Bakau and wants to remain unanimous, said that very soon the price of rice will go down significantly.