It is Ramadan again and both Gambians traders and consumers continue to face the brunt of crooked market conduct and price hikes.
It is a tradition in the country that each year as the Ramadan approaches, prices of basic commodities are usually on the increase, putting both traders and consumers in a worrying state.
As many Gambians live from hand to mouth, the price escalations in markets coupled with the pressure and demands of the Holy month, if not addressed, could leave many families in a state of despair.
Fatou Badjie, a petty trader in chicken thighs at the Serekunda market said the price of a carton of chicken used to be D600 but has jumped to D850.
“This has really disturbed us. The reason we come to the market to sell is to get little profit but coming every day from morning to afternoon without getting anything is as a result of price hiking which is not good for us,” she complained.
According to her, their wish is to see prices reduced so that they can sell their chicken thighs at an affordable price to all.
“It would be better if they can restore the carton of a chicken to its normal price of D600 or D650. The kilo of chicken legs is between D75 and D80 which is about 3 legs. The carton of chicken legs would not surpass 21 or 22 legs, and it’s difficult to make D800 out of it,” she explained.
Awa Conteh, a trader who sells onion leaves, said most of the things they sell are now produced in The Gambia and therefore blamed local producers for the price hike.
Binta Silah, a consumer who was on Ramadan shopping, said she was desperately roaming the market as prices drove her nuts.
She called on authorities to take swift action, while stressing that the situation is badly affecting the under-privileged during the Holy Month.
“The hike in prices of basic commodities really disturbs us. When you come for shopping, the money you bring along usually finish before you are even done with shopping. Since yesterday, I have been coming for shopping and all the monies my husband gave me are finished. I had to take from my own money to add up, which is very difficult for us, she stated.”