Commodity Trading Company assures Sierra Leoneans: “There will be no rice shortage for the next six months”

By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya
As speculations continue to rise whether there will be enough rice supply in warehouses for sale in the country, the Director of the Commodity Trading Company (CTC), Mr. Khalil Halloway has assured the Sierra Leonean consumers in an interview with standard Times that “there will be no rice shortage in our warehouses and in shops in the country for the next six months”. He said there are hundreds of bags presently stocked in their warehouses ready to supply for wholesalers in the country.

While he was speaking at his office along Wallace Johnson street, the Director of CTC made it known that the only rice that is short in the Sierra Leone market is the parboiled rice but he assured that within a period of two weeks, a ship will land in the shores of Sierra Leone to bring the Parboiled and other variety of rice including the parboiled rice for the Sierra Leonean market.

At present, the Commodity Trading Company has enough variety of rice supply in its warehouses including the “Fenfen” and Long Grain rice totally about 460000 bags and the CTC Director assured that despite the fact that they have such rice already available in the country, they are working to ensure there is no shortage of rice supply and that within the next six months, “more rice will be available to the market to add to the quantity of rice presently available in the country”. He also made it known that at the end of this coming October, there will be more 140,000 bags of rice of different varieties to add to the present stock while another 100,000 Push Hour bags of rice will also be available. as business people who are working towards meeting the demands of their sierra Leonean market, CTC is also planning for more shipment in January.
The Commodity Trading Company is doing business in wholesale and had reduced their whole sale price to meet the demand of the people. A 50kg Big Joe White 100% Broken rice is now being sold from Le160,000 to Le156,000 per bag while a 50kg Big Joe Brazilian 100% broken rice is from Le160,000 to Le157,000 per bag. The 50kg Big Joe 100% Fragrance rice now stands from Le189 to Le185,000 per bag. Hence, the 50kg 100% Pakistan Rice is now being sold from Le165,000 to Le163,000 per bag while the Big Mummy 50kg 100% Broken rice (Fenfen) is now being reduced from Le168,000 to Le165,000 per bag. The Thai Long Grain Rice has been reduced from Le173,000 to Le169,000.
Despite this reduction, there has been a fact established by many that some Retailers are taking advantage of the opportunity by selling against the prescribed price for the Company. In other to remedy such situation, the Commodity Trading Company have asked all customers who wish to buy rice to contact their Agent Number at (077247575) in other to get more information and link on where to access their wholesale points.
As a Company which had since been operating in the country before and during the revolution in the country, the Director of the Commodity Trading Company also assured the Sierra Leonean public that their Company is here to do business as usual “and we are here to stay and we are not going anywhere”.
The smooth importation of rice in the country is determined by the availability of the foreign currency. Thanks to the regular auction of the foreign currency by the Bank of Sierra Leone bigger companies are not finding it too hectic to bring import rice in the country.  The CTC Director said as a Company that operates in Sierra Leone, they want to be engage in buying locally produced rice for sale in the country since there will be no demand for foreign currency during the transaction.
Mr. Halloway used the occasion to also inform the public that despite there was rumors that they sacked more than 300 workers, he said they only sacked few five contracted Security Workers at their  warehouses were sacked. He said the right process including NASSIT payment and other benefits was followed when sacking those contractors. “A Company of less than 200 workers cannot sack 300 workers” he added. This sacking of five workers he said was as a result good production of locally produced rice while the Company did not import many rice in the country and some of the warehouses were closed. He assured that in the future when they opened their warehouses those people may be contracted.

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