By Ousman Saidykhan
Claim: Price of rice has not increased since Yahya Jammeh left the country in 2017
Source: Adama Barrow at Fajikunda rally
On Sunday 28th November 2021, then-incumbent and now President-elect, Adama Barrow was addressing his supporters at a rally in Faji Kunda, a town within the Latrikunda Sabiji constituency.
Barely one week before the 4th December 2021 Presidential Election, President Barrow claimed that a price of a bag of rice had not increased since former President Yahya Jammeh fled the Gambia and went into exile in Equatorial Guinea in January 2017.
Between 4:08:55 and 4:09:43, President Barrow, speaking in Wolof, claimed (that “a bag of rice was D1,300 when Jammeh was leaving this country while a bag of Sadam was D1,500. When Yahya Jammeh left this country until now, the price of rice is the same. I don’t know whether people can remember that?”
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President Barrow at Faji Kund Rally – Still ImageFACT-CHECK
Former president of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh left the shores of The Gambia on 21st January 2017. Data accessed from Government Officials indicate that by the end of January 2017, a bag of American rice (50kg) was D1,010 while Pakistan rice (50kg) was sold at D990. Meanwhile, the price of Indian rice (50kg) was D920 and Sadam Perfumed rice (50kg) was D1,362 by the end of January 2017.
By the end of February 2017, the prices of rice had increased. A bag of American rice (50kg) had increased to D1,035; Pakistani rice (50kg) remained at the same price at D990; while Sadam Perfumed rice (50kg) increased to D1,412. This demonstrates that within the space of one month after Jammeh left the price of rice had increased.
Information obtained from the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE) indicates that the price of rice fluctuated on a weekly basis.
The latest press release from the MoTIE on the prices of rice, as published on their website in June, 2021 shows that the price of American rice (50kg) has increased to D1,281 while Pakistan rice (50kg) has increased to D1,560. Similarly, the price of Indian rice also increased to D1,237 while the price of Sadam Perfumed (50kg) increased to D1,787 in 2021.
From 2017 to 2021, American Rice (50kg) increased by D271, while Pakistani Rice (50kg) increased by D570. Similarly, Indian Rice (50kg) has increased by D317 and Sadam Perfumed rice (50kg) increased by D425.
Based on the research done by FactCheck Gambia on the prices of rice from 2017 to 2021, the figures show that prices of rice have not been stagnant since former president Yahya Jammeh fled the country in 2017.
In conclusion, President Barrow’s claim that the price of a bag of rice has remained the same since Jammeh left was False.
Verdict: Barrow’s claim is FALSE
This article was first published by FactCheckGambia.org in the link below.