By Fatoumata K. Jallow
As part of our regular updates on the retail prices of basic food commodities in the local markets, it is observed that some of these items have reduced to their pre – Ramadan costs but customers still lament that they are high for the average families.
This reporter was out and about yesterday, Wednesday 3 August, 2016, visiting both the Serekunda and Latrikunda markets to find out the situation of prices of food commodities which were marginally hiked during the Muslim month of Ramadan. The prices in the Serekunda and Latrikunda markets, which are more or less the same, are as follows:
During the month of Ramadan, a bag of American rice was D1100 and the retail i.e. cup was D6.00. Now it is D1000 for the bag and the cup maintained at D6. The variety called ‘Sadam’ was D1400 and retail was D8.00. Now it is D1300 and retail maintained.
As for cooking oil, the 20 litres was D1050 and the cup D10.00. Now it is D900 and retail is maintained. The 10 litres was D600 and now it is D500, while the 5 litres which was D350 is now reduced to D300.
A bag of Irish potatoes which used to cost D650 is now reduced to D550, while the kilo which was D35 is still the same price.
A bag of onions was D600 during the Ramadan but is now D500. The kilo of onions is still maintained at D35.
Flour was selling at D1500 per bag but is now D1400.
Crystal moist sugar was D1400 before but has now reduced to D1350, while the cup is still at D8.00.
As for meat and bones and beef steak, the prices are still the same at D200 and D225 respectively.
The price of fish (Bonga), which varies, depending on several factors, including the weather, is now D10 for 4 pieces, while in Brikama it is D25 for 4 pieces.
Tomato paste (1 kilo tin) which was D135 is now D125.
Speaking to one Amie Njie, a customer and mother, she explained that although the prices have reduced to their pre-Ramadan levels, they are still very expensive for the average families who are compelled to buy these food commodities for the consumption of their families on a daily basis. She expressed hope that the prices will not hike again as another feast is coming.
“I wish that the prices are further reduced for the benefit of the poor families who are finding it extremely difficult to sustain their families with this present high cost of living,” she said.
Mrs. Njie explained that her husband is a soldier who is the sole breadwinner of the family. “I and my 4 kids are all dependent on him and it is not easy at all,” she disclosed.
Another customer, Binta Barry, also lamented the high prices of food commodities and the difficulties they face as mothers who are entrusted with the responsibility of managing the scarce resources available in the household and ensure that food is put on the table for the family.
She appealed to the government to intervene by increasing salaries and helping families to be able to afford basic food commodities.