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Liberia: Govt. sets date to open rice market
Commerce Minister, Olubanke King Akelere, has disclosed that the Government of Liberia would open the rice market to the public in March 2007 to allow the importation of rice by Liberians.

According to Minister Akelere, the move is intended to enable Liberians with the capacity to import their own rice to avoid being constantly manipulated by foreigners. She said there has been an attempt to stop importation of rice into the country unless by and through the major importers.

Minister Akelere also disclosed that outside the country particularly in the sub-region, there was an attempt to strangulate Liberia on the rice market.

The Minister specifically noted that one of the major importers, was trying to create an artificial shortage in the country by selling rice to people who were not legitimate rice sellers and who do not have a rice selling permit or license.

She added that such people were trying to create a shortage on the market in order to cause havoc in the country.

Ms. Akelere said the government, through the Ministries of Commerce, Justice, Finance, and National Security, was keeping a close surveillance on the movement of rice distribution in the country to make sure that the nation's staple food is not smuggled out of the country for sale in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone.

She said though there were people exploring every attempt to cause embarrassment for the government on the rice issue, enough rice was still in the country.

However, Minister Akelere maintained that the K & K management needed to tell the public and the government where it sold the 108,000 bags of rice which disappeared recently from its warehouses at the Freeport of Monrovia.

She said the Commerce Ministry would introduce a new mechanism that would allow the rice dealers association to collaborate with the Fouta Distribution Network to manage the sale of rice.

At the same time, the Commerce boss has also disclosed that beginning now up to the end of February 2007, the importation of rice would not be left totally open to the public because in order to ensure a stable price on the market, the ministry has approved a guarantee supply where it would receive Import Permit Documents to make the market completely open adding, it would work closely with the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation (LPMC) in playing a key role in the distribution and sale of rice in the country.
MGR Archive 24.9.2006
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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