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Prices of rice to skyrocket

-As FAO announces rice shortage next year

Prices of rice and other food products are expected to skyrocket beginning next year due to fertilizer shortages on the world market because of the Russia-Ukraine war.

The fear comes amidst an announcement from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that there is going to be rice shortage on the global market beginning next year.

The news also comes as the Liberian government announced an increase in the whole sale and retail of rice here on the local market.

The Government of Liberia over the weekend announced an increased in the price of a 25kg bag of rice to US$17.00 or its Liberian dollar equivalent for wholesale and set the retail price at US$17.50 or its Liberian dollar equivalent.

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A Commerce Ministry release dated 2 December 2022 says the new prices take effect on 3 December.

“We want to assure the public that the current stock of rice in the country can sufficiently serve the market up to the arrival of subsequent scheduled vessels,” the Commerce Ministry said.

Government sources told the New Dawn Sunday that the increase is also due to government’s withdrawal of subsidies on rice imports amidst huge demands from importers.

One official acknowledged that increasing the price of the commodity at this time is a political risk, but it was better to have it available than to have a scarcity at hand.

“Availability is more important in the coming months,” the source said adding “Price will not be an issue if rice is not available.”

Defending government’s decision to increase the price of rice, Liberia’s staple, the official also mentioned the Russia-Ukraine war as one of the major factors affecting food prices on the global market.

Russia and Ukraine are the biggest producers of fertilizers, and the ongoing war had prevented its production leading to shortage of food products such as rice.

This means countries like Liberia need to be prepared for higher prices and find strategic means of producing rice at a higher level locally.

Meanwhile, according to the release, the decision followed extensive consultations with all relevant stakeholders, including major rice importers and the Liberia Marketing Association coupled with recommendations from the Rice Stabilization Taskforce.

It explained that the decision was reached to adjust the price of rice to increase the importation volume, increase the availability of the

commodity on the market, eliminate unauthorized price hikes and deter black market sales.

It’s the fourth time the government is increasing the price of rice in the face of the rising exchange rate, and a controversial salary harmonization that negatively affects civil servants’ little earnings. 

Regulatory authorities are mostly not in charge of prices for essential commodities and transport fares are largely decided by commercial vehicle operators, making life difficult for the vast majority of the population.

In the wake of these constraints, the opposition, mainly the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) of Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, is planning a protest which is due 17 December.

Cummings, the 2023 presidential hopeful, is a consistent critic of incumbent President George Manneh Weah and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) regime.

Team Cummings’ Campaign chair Amb. Lewis Brown said the rally is organized under the caption “We Tired Suffering’’ because it’s unfair to see what people are living through every day.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry said the Government of Liberia over the last five years has continuously worked with the importers of rice to ensure that the price of rice remains affordable for the Liberian people and available on the local market.

“As a result of current global challenges faced with the sourcing of the commodity, the

President, H.E. Dr. George M. Weah constituted a Rice Stabilization Taskforce,” the release said.

It noted that the Taskforce had the mandate to assess the sustainability of current interventions, explore all options and propose new measures necessary to keep rice affordable and available on the Liberian market.

“We, therefore, encourage businesses to continue to carry out the unrestricted sale of rice, void of price hiking and profiteering at the expense of the ordinary people,” the Ministry cautioned.

The Ministry noted that through its inspectorate, it will ensure straight

compliance with this decision and calls on the public to report anyone found selling above the government regulated price.

“The Government of Liberia remains committed to its Pro-Poor Agenda by ensuring rice and other essential commodities remain available and affordable,” the release concluded.


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).


  1. To those who are reading this and looking for state elected and appointed positions. Canvass and present your platforms to the Liberian population. Candidates who chase rabbits, corrode personalities, present deceptive proposals, and incite untraditional noncultural givens amongst the Liberian people will not win. None related issues that have nothing to do with votes, free and fair will not suffice. Pallet politics like pallet chicken is too fast, sick and rootless to note. The majority may not be literate but is the win; yet now enlightened from past civil upheavals and past independent or parties’ inhumane withholdings. You can lie no more to the next generation. Candidates must say and do.

  2. You may be president, judge, or legislator, it does not matter. Rice or money got nothing to do with my time to vote or who I will vote for. You in your governmental branch or heading but I am in charge of my family and heading too. As head of the family, I will not allow any conflict over my rice plate. If I give you money to buy this imported stable, and you start complaining that price is high or my money is not enough for children or grandchildren, I will not eat your rice you cook for me until you pay for my cassava. Not even your country rice from your farm. I will start eating my cassava and will not give you some. Infact if you carry the price of any type of rice unstable, I will carry the price of my eddoes and cassava up too. Rice got nothing to do with election or appointment. If you try to bribe me with rice or money or any food to vote for you, I will eat all and vote you out.

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