LIBERIA: As Rice Shortage Looms, Commerce Ministry Says Enough Of The Product Available, Dispels Fear

Flash Back: L-R( DMC Wisner, UCI’s Wahab Dhaini and Pro. Tarpeh – Photo Credit: Public Affairs MoCI

Amid wild spread speculations of the shortage of  rice on the Liberian markets, the Director of Information at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Jacob Pailey  has publicly dispelled rumors on the shortage of the product, noting that there is enough rice on the Liberian market, there is no need for the public to be panic.

Speaking to a local radio station in Monrovia on Saturday, July 4, 2020, the MoCI media man bragged of the availability of what he called sufficient rice on the market, and further warned those who are creating artificial shortage of the product to desist of face the full weight of the law.

Early this year, the ministry announced the arrival of 103,000 Metric Tons of Rice in the country, noting that data from the rice importers and what was physically seen by the team of reporters during the tour, there is at least 103,000 Metric tons (4,120,000 bags of 25 Kg,), or about eight (8) months of market demand. The five major importers include Fouani Brothers; Fouta Corporation; K&K; Supplying West Africa Traders Incorporated (SWAT); and United Commodities Incorporated (UCI).

But addressing the issue of the shortage of the product, Pailey said several millions of tons of rice are expected to arrive in the country shortly, while some are already in the country.

Since the artificial shortage of the product was announced, the product by bag is now been sold at sky ratted prices, as some shops and stores are selling a bag of 25k at the price of US$20.00 (LD3,800)  instead of the official US$13.00  (LD2,480) has been officially announced by the Commerce Ministry, while retail price per cup is now sold at LD70 instead of LD25 per cup.

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About Cholo Brooks 13507 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.