By Sainabou Sanneh & Musa O. Bah
The issue of price hikes has been a major challenge and the government is still unable to put up regulations to mitigate the issue in the market, prompting market vendors in Serrekunda to continue venting their frustration.
Reaching out to The Voice, Adama Ngum, a butcher-man said “The tax we are paying to the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) is very high when bringing cows into the country. I am selling a kilo of meat D350 and sometimes I don’t gain any profit because he sells it at a low price and that makes him lose a high amount of profit,” he said.
The tax imposed on businesses has led to the issue of price hikes of food commodities in the market. He also said another issue they face as butchers is that the Gambia does not have enough cows adding that all the cows come from Mali, Senegal Nigeria, and other neighboring countries which is also a challenge, as they encounter a lot of transportation challenges due to its expensiveness.
“These are also factors that led to a price increment of food commodities. I am asking the government to come to our aid, whenever the tax has decreased the price of meat will be at D125. The prices are skyrocketing everywhere in the country and this is not good for the businesses.”
He explained that even though they know the condition that people are facing, they also have families who rely on us for feeding and other needs. He, therefore, called on the government to immediately find out strategies for this problem to be solved, meanwhile, he said it has been a long time and it is time for our leaders to also see the plight of the poor people.
Jabu Fatty, a fish vendor expressed her disappointment over the recent hike in basic commodities in the country, especially fish, onion, oil, and other foods that the vendors are facing, noting that fish nowadays is the most expensive commodity in the country, especially the ‘’Red snapper’’.
“We normally buy it at a high price and looking at the high price we bought it, selling it at a low price will lead to losses and that will not help us. As we all know how the country is in terms of business you have to sit the whole day and sell if not the fish will rot due to the weather condition which can affect our business, we are really suffering a lot, especially the women who struggle to find pay their children’s school fees and other needs.”
“The price of fish and other foodstuffs is unstable every day without control which alone has made business boring and unpredictable, I want the government to empower women and let them find ways to address the situation of the basic commodities because we cannot continue to suffer with our families. However, she said I travel from different places but this year the way I see business is not comfortable with the situation,” she explained
Alhagie Bah also joined his colleagues and explained the challenges he is facing in terms of business. The issue of the price hike is not our fault, we also buy it from other people who don’t decrease the prices now in this country cash, and carry because we all are facing the same challenges.
Another vendor Fatoumata Fatty, also narrated that she has started selling in the market for over twenty years but the way things are going is not encouraging because everything is becoming expensive.
She continued: “Anything I get from this business I spend on my family. We really need support from the government because we are suffering a lot in terms of feeding our families,” she pleaded to the government.