The MOCI further warned that anyone selling rice for more than US$13.50 or L$2,800 must desist or else will face stern regulatory action.
MOCI is the Liberian government's line ministry that is responsible for the growth and development of the country's economy and international trade.
"We have about 40,000 metric tons or 1,600,000 bags of rice in country, and that supply can last for the next three months because our monthly consumption is 550,000 bags," the MOCI further clarified while insisting that there is no rice shortage on the local market.
The ministry disclosed that a shipment of 30,000 metric tons ( 1,200,00 bags), which is additional two months’ supply, is expected in country this July.
Of the 30,000 metric tons, the ministry mentioned that the first batch of 18,000 metric tons will arrive between July 12 and 16.
The ministry also announced that a consignment of 55,000 metric tons of rice or 2,200,000 bags, which is four months’ supply, is due in August.
Meanwhile, an investigation conducted by the Heritage on Monday, July 6, 2020 found out that several business entities are still selling the nation’s staple food far beyond the sanctioned price by the government on grounds that the commodity is scarce on the market.
Some of the rice dealers spoken to in Monrovia and its environs averred that the commodity is scarce on the market for which the price has gone up.
“For me, I have not been able to buy new goods since two weeks. So if I manage to get small goods, how do you expect me to sell them ? Things are very difficult for us,” asserted one Danesius Kieh, a rice dealer at the Rally Town market in Central Monrovia.
“To be fair, rice is actually scarce on the market. Most of the importers don’t have sufficient rice and there is difficulty in getting the commodity-this is why it is scare on the market and the price has gone up,” claimed one Mary Toe, a rice dealer at the Commercial Market of Duala, Bushrod Island, outside Monrovia.
Our investigation also found out that as a result of the reported shortage, most of the rice dealers at the country’s three leading commercial centers, namely: Red Light in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, Rally Town and Waterside in Central
Monrovia and the Duala Market on the Bushrod Island are selling the commodity between L$3,300 and L$3,500 (US$16.50 and US$17.50).
The million dollar question on the lips of some key observers is that, over reports of rice shortage, who is telling the truth? -GoL or Business Entities.