Daily price hike in basic commodities raises alarm

Jan 26, 2021, 1:00 PM | Article By: Yusupha Jobe

Gambians from different walks of life have expressed frustration, concern and anger over daily surge in prices of basic food commodities at the local markets and corner shops.

The country in recent months has experienced daily spike in the prices of basic food commodities such as: rice, sugar, onion, fish, vegetable cooking oil and palm oil – a situation that attracts concern and alarm among many particularly the market goers and consumers.

Some expressed dissatisfaction, while others see it as uncertainty for their families particularly on daily survival.

The Point in an interview with market vendors and consumers in the bid to unearth the issue surrounding the circumstances, expressed doubts and frustration over the situation.

According to them, the recent increase in prices of basic goods is very worrying.

Omar Hydara, a shopkeeper states that “a bag of sugar is now costing D1350 as opposed to D1250 before. Also a bag of American rice is now costing D1250 as opposed to D1075.”

“It is true, I am selling in a shop and I normally go to buy goods for the shop, but really the prices on basic goods are increasing daily. Really people are facing difficulties with the current surge in prices of basic food commodities,” he openly stated.

Binta Bojang, a market vendor in Brikama, West Coast Region, said she normally sells fishes to buy certain basic food commodities such as rice, cooking oil and onion for consumption. But according to her, these commodities are now becoming unaffordable and costly due to their daily price increase.

“I am left with nothing but to only urge the government to address the ongoing increase in prices of daily consumable goods. I cannot even imagine that a gallon of 20 litre vegetable oil now costs D1300, with a cup being sold at D15 as opposed to D1250 for a bag of rice and D12 for a cup before.  

“If you also look at the current price on 20 litre gallon of palm oil, it costs around D 1350 which was sold for D1150 before. And equally a bag of onion now costs D700 which was sold at D450 before.”

And what is sad about it is that a basket of fishes (bonga) is charged at D400 and each costs D2.50. “This is really worrying as a country,” she said.

Fatou Jammeh, also a vendor, said she normally returns home with her goods intended for sale at the market, stating that customers always complain of the price charged.

“We have no other option but to return home with plenty of our goods intended for sale at the market. This is because consumers would complain about the high price and at the time; some people would not even bother to come to the market to purchase things for consumption.

“This is because we also have it at a higher price, especially the palm oil, fishes and onions that I sell,” she stated.