By Rohey Jadama
Foroyaa has been checking on the current prices of some basic food items in the market in comparison with what they were during the recently ended Muslim month of Ramadan with a view to providing an update to consumers.
This reporter visited the Serekunda Central market yesterday, Saturday, 13 September, 2014 to find out the retail prices for rice, cooking oil, onions, sugar etc.
Speaking to one Cherno Bah, a grocery owner inside the market, he said the current price for the 20 litres refined cooking oil which was selling at D975 during the Ramadan is now reduced to D950. As for Irish Potato, it is now selling at D500 per bag from D700 to D800 during the Ramadan. A bag of onion is between D370 and D400, adding that the latter is the good quality onion. He said the cooking oil that contains fat is D925 for the 20 litres container.
Mr. Bah said he buys these commodities from Tajco shop at Bambo, in London Corner. He explained that the prices of the commodities are not stable as they increase every now and then.
He said he pays to KMC a duty of D20 every day in addition to the D100 he pays for waste collection every month, adding that the payments are expensive.
The prices offered by Modou Njie Bittaye, another shop owner in the market, are between D930 and D925 for the 20 litres cooking oil, Onion is D420 per bag for the good quality and D375 for the other, a bag of American rice is D1, 300 and D1, 250 depending on the quality and Irish potato is D500 per bag.
According to him, he buys from the bigger stores that provide for transport from their warehouse to his shop.
Alagie Cham, also a shop owner, explained that the prices of food items he sells are not stable as they depend on what the importer offers including other costs such as transportation etc. He said a bag of Irish Potato at his shop was costing D800 during the Ramadan but it has now reduced to D500. As for a bag of onion, it is D425 for the quality one and D420 for the other while the American rice is costing D1, 150 and D1,125 for the other. According to Mr. Cham, the business is faring well, but added that the frequent hikes in prices are disturbing them.
Mr. Cham said he has paid business license and tax to both the KMC and GRA respectively, as well as the yearly D100 payment said to be for waste collection by the Council.