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The retail price for a 50kg bag of imported parboiled rice in September 2017 averaged LD$ 4,450, up 25 percent compared to last year but remain unchanged from the past one month. Annual price comparisons showed increase in the price of rice in all markets monitored with Tuobo‐gbaweeleken, Pleebo, Fish Town, Harper, Barclayville, Gbarma and Tubmanburg markets recording the biggest increases of 49%, 40%, 37%, 36%, 34%, 33% and 32% respectively. The price differentials witness in far‐off markets especially in southeastern Liberia is associated with seasonal factors (increase in demand for imported rice as most farming households have exhausted food stocks from previous harvest and the deplorable road condition due to heavy rains which translates into higher transportation costs when moving commodities from the main port of entry, in Monrovia. For example, consumers in Barclayville, Fish Town and Tuobo‐gbaweeleken spend L$1,650.00 (US$13.75) more for a 50kg bag of imported rice than consumers in Monrovia. In addition, is the continued depreciation in the local currency against the US dollars, exacerbating the price increase in the main staple, rice.

 

Meanwhile, the new rice crop harvest taking place in the southeastern part of country coupled with stable to lower international rice
prices in Asian markets (a key source of imported rice in Liberia) could ease the pressure on main staple, rice and bring some sign of relief to poor farming households who primarily rely on rice farming as a livelihood, though for a short period.

 

In general, the food situation across the country is expected to be good (with adequate commercial stocks in‐country and the ongoing
local rice crop harvest). Notwithstanding, current domestic factors (high food inflation coupled with currency depreciation) could
constrain households’ food access especially among the rural poor.

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