With daily increase of food prices in Maryland County, marketers there say they would boycott the pending senatorial unless retail price of a 25kg bag of rice is sold for either 2,500 or 3000 Liberian dollars in the county. The price of a 25kg bag of rice in Maryland is currently being sold between 4,700 Liberia dollars and 5,000LD due to several constrains cited by importers in the county, including bad roads and high taxes.
Speaking last week Wednesday, August 12, during regular market hours in the Pleebo General Market in Maryland Electoral District #2, a local rice seller, ServinaWion said, it is worrisome the price of rice continues to skyrocket.
According to her, the increment of price and taxes is seriously hampering petty traders, who survive from hand and to mouth.
She added that though roads in the southeast of the country are deplorable, but business people use other means to take goods to Marylanders
Madam Wion disclosed importers transport goods thru sea, from neighboring Ivory Coast, so they shouldn’t use the road situation to hike prices of basic commodities.
Another marketer, Marthaline Weah lamented that they have been wasting their time in voting for politicians who care less about their plight, questioning the rationale of regularly electing people, who have brought no improvement in the standard of living of citizens.
“See, we have lawmakers in our county and country who can’t even show us their farm, but after every six or nine years they will come and want us to vote them again”, Madam Weah further lamented.
“Why you think rice importers will not hike prices every day?” she asked.
The marketers said as long as price of rice continues to rise without any intervention from government, they will not participate in the pending midterm senatorial elections.
Madam Weah said it is difficult to buy a 25kg bag of rice for 4,700 or 5, Liberian dollars and sell retail to earn profit, something, she noted is causing them to wanting t leave the market.
However, the superintendent of the Pleebo General Market Paul Nimpson has called on marketers to remain calm, as efforts are underway to address the hike in prices.
Superintendent Nimpson said in the soonest possible time the issue about rice price and bad roads in the county will be laid to rest. He called on the government to listen to the cries of marketers and also to grant them authorization to move into the modern market that was built in the county.
County Fiscal Affairs and Acting Superintendent, Anthony W. Bedell, recently called a meeting at the Pleebo City Hall and informed rice importers to sell 25kg bag of rice for US$18.00, which is equivalent to 3,600 Liberian dollars, but it seems the call went unheeded.
By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland–Editing by Jonathan Browne