September 25, 2016

Commodity prices soaring in Region 2

Dear Editor,
Kindly publish this letter with the use of my name.
Scores of families in Region 2 who are engaged in the rearing of pigs and poultry now face the threat for survival from an acute shortage of local stock feed with the price of bran having jumped to an all-time high price at $1200 for a 60 pound bag.
Some months ago at the beginning of milling for the last crop when stocks of bran which is a by-product of paddy were in full supply throughout the district, the price for the same weight was $400 per bag.
It is well known that scarcity increases price but with supplies of bran now available from only one miller in my area of South Essequibo, the price is considered to be a massive exploitation, excessively exorbitant and unaffordable.
The purchase price for a whole bag of 180 pound paddy in many instances was in the vicinity of $1000 or less with concerns being raised as to how come a bag of bran can be so expensive.
While no justifiable reason can be seen for the fantastic price escalation, it is clear as daylight that unless there is an immediate reduction severe losses from starvation resulting in deaths would be inevitable.
The price for broken rice which is also in short supply has been increased by $500 to further aggravate the hardship encountered by families to make an honest living.
Up to Saturday (2016-02-13) one businessman who buys and sells bran in a mobile vehicle was doing so at $1300 per bag.
Some form of assistance from the Government would be appreciated to bring relief to our unbearable predicament.

With thanks,
Baliram Persaud
NB: The miller referred to trades under the name of “Dickie’s Rice Mill” at Dryshore, Essequibo Coast.

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