By Thomas Domah, from Bong county
Police in Gbarnga, Bong County have arrested several 25kg bags of rice and put them on sale for 2,300 Liberian Dollars or an equivalent of US$13.50 per bag, the official price here.
The rice in huge quantities from stores and business owners was confiscated by Police in Gbarnga after being sold for 6,000 Liberian Dollars or US$40.00 per bag, while a cup of rice was sold for 100 Liberian Dollars, respectively.
Police sources told The NEW DAWN that since rice scarcity hit the market in the country, local business owners in Gbarnga, Bong County have been selling a 25 kg bag of rice for Five to Six Thousand Liberian Dollars.
At the same time in adjacent Nimba county, a 25kg bag of rice is being sold for between 5,000 and 8,000 Liberian Dollars.
In the commercial hub of Ganta, a beg of rice is sole for 5,000 Liberian Dollars, while in Tappita, Sanniqullie, Karnplay and Saclepea, few business owners, who have small quantity of the nation’s staple are now selling each bag for 8,000 Liberian Dollars and above, a situation that is creating panic among residents.
Meanwhile, Guinean nationals, who have been seen transporting a huge quantity of rice from Liberia via Ganta, are now returning such food to Liberia and selling it exorbitantly.
Some Guinean business people are crossing to Liberia with huge consignments of 50-kilogram bags of rice and selling them for 9,000 Liberian Dollars per bag.
In Karnplay City, Nimba county, several residents have been wounded, while fighting one another to buy cassava from local farmers due to shortage of rice in the market.
Rice dubbed as a political commodity in Liberia, is scarce, leading to hike in price.
President George Manneh Weah has appointed a Rice Stabilization Taskforce to address the prevailing shortage of the nation’s staple and recommend a way forward in the West African State endowed with rich soil for agriculture but does not feed itself. Editing by Jonathan Browne