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Commerce denies rice shortage

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By Kruah Thompson
Commerce Minister Mawine G. Diggs has refuted speculations here that there is a huge rice shortage in the country, casting blame against the opposition for allegedly spreading the rumor.

Speaking at a press conference over the weekend at the Ministry of Commerce in Congo Town, Minister Diggs explained that the country’s current rice inventory shows that speculations surrounding rice shortage are far from reality.

She noted that the current inventory shows that there are 40,000 Metric Tons of rice in the country, accounting for 1.6 million bags of the 25Kg rice. She stated that the approved retail price for the 25Kg bag of Rice is US$13.50.

“Against this backdrop, the Commerce Ministry is warning against unwholesome practices in the Liberian business sector, including but not limited to hoarding of any commodity for that matter or arbitrary stepping up of its price,” said Minister Diggs.

The Commerce Minister detailed that such available quantity of rice has the capacity to supply the local rice market for approximately three months.

“We admonish the public to work along with the Ministry’s Inspectorate by reporting any unhealthy practices in the Liberian business sector as collaboration plays a pivotal role in curtailing such unwholesome activities,” she said.

In addition, Minister Diggs pointed out that a consignment of 30,000 Metric Tons, an equivalent of 1.2 million bags of rice is expected into Liberia that will sustain the local market for two months.

She said 18,000 Metric Tons out of the 30,000 arrived in the country recently, adding that an additional supply of 55,000 Metric Tons are expected into the Country.

Madam Diggs released two hotlines, 9911 for orange and 6624 for LoneStar through which the public is encouraged to report whoever is found to be increasing the rice price, saying they will go after them and ensure they face the law.

She warned that the Commerce Ministry will not relent to apply the appropriate laws in going after those whose inordinate desire is to profiteer at the expense of the public, especially during these testing days of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Liberia.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/2-rice-dealers-arrested-for-hiking-price/—Edited by Winston W. Parley

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