Though the government has issued strong warnings to importers to reduce the prices of imported rice, it seems as if the call has been swept away by the wind.
Due to the increase of prices Awoko interviewed a number of wholesalers and retailers to assess the reasons behind the problem.
The manager of Merani Stores at Krootown Road, Kishen Shelani, explained that they were buying rice at an exorbitant cost from their suppliers Tajco, CTC, Ibrahim Bazzy and sons, and Mohamed Watfa and sons.
He added that, “the problem lies with our suppliers who are requesting that government should be reasonable with them”.
Mr Shelani noted that he bought AA rice at Le90,000 and sold at Le92,000, adding, “that is not our fault we sell to make a profit of 1000 or 2000 Leones”.
The manager maintained that if government controlled the suppliers and importers it would be fine because the sales of food commodities especially rice had dropped.
He disclosed that they sold AA rice 25Kg at Le47,000, 50kg at Le95,000, 50kg USA rice sold at Le84,000 and 50 kg Lion rice at Le88,000.
Fatu Dumbuya, a trader at the Krootown Road market, narrated that before they used to buy AA rice at around Le35, 000 to Le40, 000 and sold it at Le 450 per cup.
She explained further that sales had reduced because of the high cost and that there was no profit like before.
Fatu Dumbuya maintained that buyers who used to buy six cups of rice now bought four cups.
Asked how much they sold other varieties of rice, she said “AA rice is sold at Le600 per cup, UNAMSIL rice at Le550, Chinese rice at Le500 and Big Joe at Le1000 a cup”.