THIS WEEK IN THE MARKET
January 28, 2015 With Isata Janneh
This Week in the Market is a column that looks at prices of commodities in various markets across the city of Freetown and seeks the views of traders on sale of their goods.
Concord Times’ Isata Janneh was at the Krootown Road Market to gauge the prices of foodstuff and how petty traders are getting on with sales in the midst of the current Ebola outbreak.
Below is what they traders have to say:
Hajaratu Sesay, Krootown Road Market Chairlady
She told our reporter that she sells raw fish and buys and supplies other fishmongers at the Krootown market. She said that the price of fish by carton remains the same since the Ebola outbreak in the country, noting that the Ministry of Fisheries is doing their best to monitor fish agents and ensure there is no shortage of fish in the market.
Abdulai Bah, Meat Seller
Abdulai Bah is a meat seller. He told Concord Times that he would buy a cow and slaughter it for sale by pound to customers who come to the famous Krootown Road market. He said the price of a cow has exponentially increased during the Ebola outbreak due to restrictions on travelling to provincial towns like Kabala, up north, which until last week was lockdown.
He lamented the drop in profit as many customers stopped buying meat for fear of the deadly Ebola virus.
It is not scientifically proven though that the virus can be transmitted through cattle.
Kadiatu Kamara, sells cassava and potato leaves
Kadiatu Kamara, a cassava and potato leaves seller, said she buys the leaves Le5,000 per tie and split it into smaller ties to sell to customers. She recalled that few months ago the price of a big tie was cheaper, but prices have increased because of lack of vehicles to bring them into the capital.
She said sellers encounter shortage of leaves during the rainy season, unlike the dry season when the leaves blossom.
Samah Kamara, Rice Seller
Samah Kamara, a rice seller told Concord Times that she buys various species of rice like Parboil rich, which costs Le140,000 per bag, Thailand grain, which sells at Le 150,000, and sells it by cup to customers.
She said the price of rice plummeted few months ago but couldn’t tell why the price of the country’s staple food has increased.
Fatu Turay, Onion Seller
Fatu Turay sells onion. She revealed that a bag of onion costs Le125,000, up more than 100% few months ago when it was sold at Le50,000 per bag.
According to her, the galloping inflation could be blamed on lack of market regulation, and that the margin of profit is low for traders who sell at retail prices.
She lamented drop in sales in the market but expressed optimism that the recent revision of the 12 noon ban on Saturday trading to 6pm could tilt things in their favour.
Rice per bag (Thailand grain) Le150,000
Rice per cup Le1,000
Onion per bag Le125,000
Groundnut per bag Le400,000
Meat per pound Le12,000
Pepper per bag Le300,000
Salt per bag Le23,000 (small bag)
Salt per tomato cup Le200
Maggi per packet Le10,000
Vegetable oil per gallon Le113,000
Palm oil per gallon Le110,000