AUTHOR: Deng Madit Ador | PUBLISHED: November 16, 2022
The price of basic food commodities such as sorghum is on the increase in Aweil town, Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, residents have said.
3.7 kilogram of sorghum, which sold previously at 1,800 South Sudanese Pounds, now sells at 2,000 South Sudanese Pounds.
Some residents of the state capital are concerned that the trend may continue.
“The prices are increasing daily,” said Gabriel Kuek. “I don’t know why traders keep increasing the price.”
Traders in Aweil have attributed the increase to the poor state of the roads connecting Aweil to Sudan. Most of the commercial goods comes from neighboring Sudan.
“The little sorghum we sell here is what we get from people who want to buy drugs and other commodities. There is a shortage of cash, so they sell the sorghum to us for 1,500 South Sudanese Pounds, and then we sell it at 1,600 South Sudanese Pounds. We only get 100 SSP from 3.7 kg,” said Deng Dut, a local trader.
Poor harvest due to floods is also believed to be one of the causes of high food prices in the market.
The goods from Sudan are also brought into Northern Bahr el Ghazal state through unofficial routes as the borders between the two countries have not been official opened.
“The closure of borders between Sudan and South Sudan caused the shortage of sorghums in the markets,” said Dut Deng Mou, a resident of Aweil.
“But I’m sure when the roads reopen officially, things will be fine because the Sudanese traders and farmers who invest in sorghum will bring the sorghum and make life easy for us.”
Early this year, the state government would supply the market with subsidized sorghum in order to make it affordable for the ordinary citizens.
“I’m asking the state authority to do the same initiative of the rainy season – to bring sorghum and sale it at a cheap price to rescue the community from hunger,” said Mou Ngong Mel.
In September, Northern Bhar El Ghazal state government released a flood damage data showing 75,000 homes and more than 8,000 individuals have been affected by the floods.