Rice Price Reduced?

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Liberians have become accustomed to consuming rice as the staple food throughout the country. However, foreign importers have consistently raised prices in the local Liberian market over time, making it increasingly difficult for local Liberians to afford their daily meals. During the 2023 general election, President Joseph Nuyma Boakai promised to lower the price of rice under his administration, aiming to ensure that all Liberians could afford their daily sustenance. However, the recent reduction in rice prices, which took effect on February 19, 2024, has not satisfied the majority of Liberians. According to many Liberians, the reduction announced by the Commerce Minister and President Boakai appears insufficient, with some perceiving it as mere rhetoric rather than a meaningful change in rice pricing. On Friday, February 16, 2024, the Ministry of Commerce announced a significant reduction in the price of a 25kg bag of rice, effective Monday February 19, 2024, bringing relief to consumers amidst global economic shifts. The Minister of Commerce, Amin Modad, revealed this decision during his inaugural press conference on Friday, February 16, 2024. Following discussions with the Rice Importers Association, Minister Modad disclosed that the price of rice would decrease from $17.00 to $16.75 per bag. This move comes as Liberia boasts a current stockpile of 120,000 metric tons of Indian parboiled rice, sufficient to sustain the market for the next three to four months, with additional orders expected between May and June. In alignment with President’s rescue mission to ensure affordability amidst global price fluctuations, Minister Modad emphasized the importers’ commitment to introducing alternative, lower-priced rice varieties alongside Indian parboiled rice. Moreover, both parties agreed to conduct periodic reviews to adjust prices as needed. Furthermore, Minister Modad unveiled plans for collective investments by rice importers in local rice production, aimed at supporting local farmers and reducing dependency on imports. This initiative, to be administered through the Ministry of Commerce’s value addition program, seeks to bolster the national rice reserve as a safeguard against external supply disruptions. Modalities for this endeavor will be formulated in collaboration with the Rice Importers Association, starting as early as March 2024. This strategic intervention underscores Liberia’s proactive approach to mitigating the impact of global economic dynamics on essential commodities and fostering sustainable agricultural development.knewsonline.com

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