The Vice Chairlady of Kroo Town Road Market, Isatu Turay has stated that they are disappointed that government is doing nothing to address the continued increase in basic food items in the country. Isatu Turay was speaking to Awoko on Monday and explained what she referred to as ‘skyrocketed’ food prices.
Madam Turay, who sells both local and foreign food items, expressed frustration over the situation which she described as dreadful. “We as retailers buy goods at exorbitant prices from wholesalers and when this happens, it is the consumers that suffer the most.” She went on to say that the continuous increase in food prices was too much for them: “oil is now sold at Le 180,000 per five gallon and this has subsequently affected the price per pint. As business people we cannot buy at skyrocketed prices and sell at prices that will not give us profit.”
Madam Turay continued that “right now there is scarcity of sugar in the country and this has affected the market price of a single cup of sugar.” She said what was more frustrating and most surprising was the corresponding increase in local food items: “palm oil is expensive, fish and other locally produced products are really expensive for reasons which I keep wondering. To even sell up to twenty thousand Leones per day is a head breaking task.”
The Vice Chairlady disclosed that because of what she called uncontrolled food prices, some homes hardly get money to prepare a meal. “I have a very poor customer who has complained that she hardly cooks because of increase in food prices. In fact, some people now rely entirely on restaurant food commonly called “Cookery” so that they are relived of the burden of preparing food in their homes.”
However, Madam Turay was swift to blame the problem on the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST): “they told us that GST was not charged on certain commodities including food items, but now it looks like it has been generalized and this is a troubling problem.”
She said they had quarreled on countless occasions with some consumers on the increase of prices of some food items in the market. She urged the government to intervene otherwise she continued some poor citizens would starve to death.
Jariatu Kamara is a consumer who went to purchase some foodstuffs at Kroo Town Road Market. She told this press that life was now more difficult with her family because the market prices are extremely high. “My husband normally gives me five thousand Leones to prepare food for the family. I used to manage it well before now, but currently, it’s just impossible to manage this amount given the market conditions.”
She said the country was currently experiencing what she described as survival crisis. She called on the government to take prompt action to address the rather unwelcome development.