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Marketers decry high prices

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Several marketers have raised concern over the conspicuous silence of the Rice Dealers Association of Liberia in the wake of the commodity price skyrocketing across the country.

Speaking with reporters on 11 September in Monrovia,Ms. Sarah Parker Wilson of Rally Time Market, Ms. Fatu Dorley of Paynesville Redlight Market, Mr. Jefferson ColemonJessey, among others said their concern comes in the wake of the prolonged silence of the association leadership on the rapid increment in the price of rice on the Liberian market.

According to them, the association has not been very proactive regarding issue affecting the sale of the country’s stable rice, which price continues to increase here daily.A 25kg bag of rice is being sold for LRD3, 200 in some parts of Monrovia and even more outside the capital.

They lament that just leaving the rice business in the hands of foreign importers, who continue to increase price is hurting Liberians especially, at the time when the government had informed its citizens to get prepared for even more tough time ahead with plans to introduce stringent economic measures effective November.

Last week, the Government of Liberia with assistance from international partners held a three-day National Economic Dialogue bringing together economists, bankers, entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens to solicit ideals on how to rescue the economy from collapse.

The marketers said they are being constrained to sell a cup of rice at LRD50 or more because of failure of the dealer association to immediately lobby with importers in addressing the hiking of the price.

As a result of the situation, they note that many Liberians especially, children and even some adults, go to sleep hungry daily simply because the institution responsible to advocate on their behalf has gone underground.

They call on the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to intervene by regulating prices of basic commonalities in the market to ease the suffering of ordinary Liberians, who cannot afford to purchase basic needs due to hike in prices.

When this reporter contacted the Waterside General Market where the association office is located, sources disclosed that the association left the area for some time and its whereabouts presently are unknown.By Emmanuel Mondaye

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