Chinese Rice Arrives -Will Ordinary Liberians Benefit?


By Natoe Jallah

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted February 8, 2005

The arrival of 1315 metric tons of Chinese long grain rice in the country could help alleviate the hiking of the commodity on the Liberian market.

The consignment is said to be first phase of a total of 3650 metric tons of rice which the Liberian government has negotiated with the Chinese Government to help stabilize the increasing price of rice in the country.

The Economic Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy, Zhang Yi, presenting the consignment to NTLA Special Rice Auction Committee Chairperson Marie Leigh Parker at the Commerce Ministry recently, said his government hopes the rice will augment market supply thereby stabilizing the price of rice on the Liberian market.

Mr. Yi told journalists that the second phase of the commodity is expected to arrive in mid February. He said his government lauded the proper arrangement made by the Liberian Government for the distribution of the rice, hoping that it will benefit vast majority of the Liberian people.

For his part, Commerce Minister Samuel Wlue, disclosed that a Liberian owned business entity (FOUTA Corporation) has won the bid for the rice and is responsible for distribution to retailers.
However, FOUTA Corporation is believed to be owned by Fula businessmen in Liberia.

Minister Wlue has therefore asked the various business associations including the Liberian Business Association (LIBA), the Rice Dealers Association (RDA), the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), among others to join the ministry and closely monitor the sale of the rice.

However, many Liberians have begun questioning the sincerity behind government’s intention to sell the rice at US$20 when it is believed to be a freewill gesture of the Chinese Government aimed at reducing the suffering of the Liberian people.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.