By Nathaniel S. Tokpa (Ganta Correspondent)
Ganta, Nimba County- The price of rice in Ganta Nimba County has increased due to fear of shortage of the commodity on the Liberian market.
The Ministry of Commerce has threatened to shut down businesses caught in the act of hacking the price of rice on the market after it established that business owners were creating artificial shortage of rice on the market. The Ministry in a release over the weekend said there is sufficient rice on the Liberian market to run for a considerable time.
But the ‘artificial’ shortage of rice in Montserrado County has resulted in the hack in the price of rice in Ganta, Nimba County as business owners in the county told our correspondent that they have been unable to purchase rice from the capital.
The price of the 25kg bag of rice, according to our correspondent has increased from L$2,850 to L$3,600 as of Tuesday, July 7, while the cost of a cup of rice had also increased from L$50 to $75 LD per cup.
Consumers have for the past days been seen purchasing a huge quantity of rice due to fears that the commodity could become scarce on the market.
“I’m afraid that this may not be the case of the 1979 rice riot in Monrovia, so I think the government needs to work on things to start importing rice as soon as possible,” Taro Dekpah, General Manager of a business center in Ganta told our reporter.
The Commerce Ministry has however clarified that “the available quantity has the capacity to supply the local rice market for approximately three months. Besides that, a consignment of 30,000 Metric Tons, equivalent to 1.2 million bags of rice is expected in Liberia this July that will sustain the local market for two months.”