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GeneralLiberia news

Govt. announces increment in rice price

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has announced an increase in the price of the 25kg bag of Indian Parboiled Rice (5% Broken) from USD$16.75 to USD$18.50.

In a press release issued in Monrovia, the Ministry says this decision was made on Friday, May 17, 2024, following discussions with leading rice importers in the country. These importers cited uncontrollable and unfavorable external factors as the reason for the price adjustment.

The release says the global factors that influenced this decision include disruptions in shipping routes through the Suez Canal due to the Ukrainian crisis, leading to increased shipping costs. Additionally, the Indian government imposed a new 20% export tariff on the export of Indian Parboiled Rice (5%).

In 2023, the Rice Importers Association requested a price increase to reflect the impact of external factors on the cost of rice importation. However, the decision was postponed until after the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections. In February 2024, the Association resubmitted its request upon appointing the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Amin Modad, following constructive discussions between the Ministry and the importers, the price of the 25kg bag of Indian Parboiled Rice (5% Broken) was reduced to USD$16.75 on February 19, 2024.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry says at the time of the decision, the country had 120,000 Metric Tons of the 25kg bags of Indian Parboiled Rice (5% Broken) in stock, expected to last for the next three to four months, with new orders due in May and June. To provide citizens with more affordable choices amidst the global changes impacting rice prices, the Rice Importers Association agreed to distribute an alternative rice variety at a lower price, committed to investing in local rice production through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Value Addition Program, aiming to support local farmers, reduce dependence on imported rice, and boost the national rice reserve as a buffer against external shocks. An initial investment of USD$200,000 was announced during a meeting with the importers on May 17, 2024.

The Ministry welcomes the decision of the Rice Importers Association and assures the Liberian people that periodic reviews will always be conducted to determine the price of the rice. This investment in local rice production is expected to reduce the country’s reliance on imports and enhance the national rice reserve as a precaution against external shocks. Press Release

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