Rise in the price of cereals: Is it the fault of the traders or the rain?

The soaring prices of consumer products, especially cereals on the market are a reality. Usually, after the harvest, food prices generally fall. This year, it is clear that this drop just after the harvests (last quarter of the year 2020) did not take long to experience a dizzying increase.

According to Ousmane Ouédraogo, a cereal retailer at the Tanghin market (Ouagadougou), last year at this same period, the price of the corn dish did not exceed CFA 475 and the bag of corn did not cost more than 11,000. CFA francs. But, today, the corn dish is currently sold between 550 CFA francs and 600 CFA francs and the 100 kg bag of corn at 23,000 CFA francs on the market. We don’t talk about beans. The price of the dish is estimated at 650 CFA francs and the 100 kg bag of millet at 25,000 CFA francs. This dizzying increase in the price of food between January and April 2021 considerably reduces the profit margin of traders.

“The 100 kg bag of maize is currently 23,000 CFA francs on the market. In detail, we only make a profit of 500 CFA francs. However, there is our transport, which costs almost 6,000 francs round trip from Ouagadougou to Léo, ”explains Ousmane Ouédraogo. One of the explanations given for this rise in prices is the scarcity of cereal products. “Last year, we could see sacks of cereals stacked in the stores at Léo and we stocked up as we wanted, without major difficulties, but currently, it is an impossible thing,” he insists.

Another explanation that justifies the rise in prices, the multiplicity and diversity of players. At this level, our cereal trader at the Tanghin market indicates that on the Léo market, where they get supplies, new traders, from here and elsewhere, have appeared. “There are traders who come from Bobo-Dioulasso and even Niamey to get supplies; which was not the case in previous years. And, by their presence, there is no longer a fixed day for the market (usually Fridays). », He specifies. This daily presence of Niamey traders, particularly in the market, according to him, makes supply lower than demand and prices are flaming day by day.

So he suggests that ” Leo’s new market competitors, ” especially those from Niamey, are only happy to buy, regardless of the price. “They don’t care about the price, they just want to have the product. However, we cannot buy at the same price as them. He says. He sheds more light on this strong market competition when he tells this anecdote on the occasion of his last trip to that place. “The last time I was at Leo’s market, I thought the price was unaffordable and I wanted to leave. To my surprise, the other traders and those from Niamey only bought whatever the price. I was therefore obliged to buy so as not to return empty-handed, ”he testifies.

As for Aboubacar Ouédraogo, trader and retailer at the Tanghin market, it is the poor rainfall that caused this price spike. “Our whole problem comes down to rain, we have no other option than rain. No matter how much area you cultivate, if there is not enough rain, in the end you will only have stems. », He declares. For him, the only option is to pray to God for good rainfall. “All we can do is pray to God for good rainfall; this is the only solution to the current situation, ”he suggests.

Tiba Kassamse Ouédraogo


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