By Betty Ceesay and Akitania Nzally
Market vendors in the Serekunda market have continued to bemoan increases in the price of goods, especially food commodities.
Speaking to Ebrima Jahan, a shop owner at the Serrekunda market, explain the frustrations faced in dealing with customers on the prices of food commodities. According to him, the high prices are a result of the wholesale prices which are beyond their control.
Ebrima stated that the wholesale prices determine the retail price which affects the high cost of living. This is because the retailer depends on his/her sales for sustenance and therefore is faced with the need to sell at prices that will grant them profit. He called on all stakeholders to set policies on price control to put a halt to the continuation of these crises.
“The high prices of meat are a result of the increment in the cost of cows,” said Buba Ceesay, a butcher at the Serrekunda market. He gave an estimate of the price increment of meat within six months which accounts for D75 for meat and bone and D100 for steak.
Another butcher by the name Alieu Mbye claimed to have been in the business since he was 15 years old. He expressed grievances about the prices of cows which are at a cost of D80,000 to D90,000 per cow which is highly above the capacity of the average Gambian.
He stated that this phenomenon has affected his business to a point that he had to stop selling for over two months and only resumed a few days ago. He also complained about losses on sales of up to D 8,000.
Mr. Mbye further reveals that most of the cow sellers lie about the fact that they transport their animals from other countries like Mali and Senegal when in reality the animals are reared in the Gambia. Some of them however import the animals from neighbouring countries which results in high prices.