By Edrissa Jallow
Claim: Cost of Flour Reduced to Maintain the Price of Bread
An online Social Media Page named “NPP In Perspective: Banjul” has claimed that “the Ministry of Trade has reached an agreement with stakeholders in the bakery industry to reduce the price of flour and maintain the price of a loaf of bread at D7”.
The social media post also claims that “this Monday [13th December 2021] some bakeries across the country were closed in protest of the rising cost of flour”.
Fact Check: Speaking to a local bakery owner located at Tallinding next to the Cemetery, the cost of a bag of flour has increased to D1,600 (retail price). However, a press release from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE) dated 14th December 2021 noted that the price of flour has been reduced.
The MOTIE press release indicates that an “agreement has been reached with Nessim Trading Company Limited for the price of Ferry brand to be restored to D1,425 per bag, Bridge brand at D1,385 and Golden Brown maintained at D1,350 with immediate effect.”
The government statement also informed the general public that “Bakeries are encouraged to buy flour from the factory to save costs and benefit from other applicable discounts.”
Our reporter confirmed with the local bakery at Tallinding next to the cemetery and was informed that they purchased a bag of flour for D1,445 on 15th December 2021 and that the price of flour has reduced from D1,600.
On the claim that bakeries were closed across the country on Monday 13th December 2021, a local newspaper Foroyaa, published an article headlined “Bread Scarcity Hits Kanifing Municipality” and that “over the past two days people living within the Kanifing Municipality have experienced bread scarcity”. The article also notes that “Amadou Jallow, one of the bakers in Serrekunda, Dippa-Kunda said his bakery has not been operating for the past two days because they want the authorities to increase the price of bread”.
To confirm the closure of bakeries, our reporter contacted two bakeries and was informed that one bakery located at Coastal Road in Sinchu Sorrie was closed for two days. However, another bakery in Tallinding near the cemetery was open as they had flour in stock and did not need to purchase flour at the increased price of D1,600 to operate.
In an effort to control the price of bread, the statement from MOTIE highlighted that “flour milling companies have agreed to restore their original prices as stated above, [the] Ministry is calling on all bakeries to continue their production of bread and ensure that the price of bread is maintained at D7 per loaf”.
The cost of flour increased from around D1,450 to D1,600. However, the government has intervened with Nessim Trading Company to bring the price down to D1,425. At least one baker has confirmed purchasing a bag of flour at a reduced price of D1,445.
Therefore, the claim that the Government has intervened to bring the price of flour down with the intention of maintaining the price of bread at D7 is true.
This article was first published by FactCheckGambia.org in the link below.