Will Cowbell follow?
By: Momodou Justice Darboe
Thousands of Gambians are, for several weeks now, unable to lay hands on the cheap milk powder sachet. This is an important complement of many Gambian’s breakfast but for the past few weeks, it has disappeared from shop shelves and breakfast tables.
Economic distress has forced many Gambians to fall over backwards to cheap milk powder sachetted in different labels. But of all, milk powder sachet is highly preferred. Another preferred cheap milk powder that has also been knocked off many shop shelves is Cowbell.
It has also run out of stock in many areas. “Cowbell is in fact available but if you want to sell it, you must increase the sachet of 20g to D6 or D7; an upwards of D1 or D2,” a dealer in the dairy products told The Progress Newspaper.
When asked whether this was not hoarding, he retorted:”We are into import to make profit.” Meanwhile, some economic crisis-exhausted Gambians are suspicious that some businesses are profiteering from the pandemic-engendered volatility in the essential commodity market.
” Things are fast-disappearing from the market and prices astronomically rising. And the usual scapegoat is the Covid. Government is saying Covid and the business community is also singing from the same song-sheet,” a taxi driver told this reporter in a conversation over the recent 50 per cent increase on egg price.
Whilst citizens fear the disappearing stock of some essential goods are harbinger for worst economic and financial times ahead, government said it’s doing it’s best to restore sanity to the basic commodities market but that the pandemic is not helping.
It has sometimes ago set up a directorate at the trade ministry to deal with the deafening lamentations over prices of essential commodities.