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Scarcity of bread looms in Abia

Scarcity of bread looms in Abia

Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia State and other parts of the state may witness scarcity of bread if the threat of bakery operators in the state was anything to go by. Although efforts to reach the leadership of Bakery Operators in Aba failed, The Nation authoritatively gathered that consumers of bread and other flour products may look for substitute if the market price of
flour continues to rise in weeks ahead. Our correspondent who visited many bread stands in Aba and its environs reports that some of the bakery operators who could not survive the harsh condition of production have closed down, while the price of bread that made the stand witnessed a fifty percent increase. This is even as some of the bread sellers feared that many bakery operators may soon wound down.

According to some bread sellers and bakery operators who pleaded anonymity, they attributed the closedown of some of the local bakeries to scarcity, high cost flour, cost of fueling and maintaining their machines and generating set including other production expenses.

“Some of our colleagues who could not cope with the cost of flour and other things, including payment of staff have closed down for business, at least for the moment. Flour is costly and people are not advised to use bromate in preparing bread because of the said negative implication it has on human health. So, there is no way people can cover their expenses at this time that the economy of the country is biting hard on people,” a bakery operator said.

The source however hoped that the federal government would wade into the situation by addressing some of the bottle necks that gave rise to the cost of flour in the market, stressing that a further increase on the price of bread means creating more hardship for bread and bakery food consumers.

The source feared that if nothing urgent was done to save bakers from over expenses; many more bread will be out of stock from the stands or will leave them with no choice than to further increase the price of bread and other bakery products in order to cover the cost of their production.

The source disclosed that bakers may be forced into a striking action in the nearest weeks to further push their demand for a reduction on the price of flour from its present market price.

Some residents of the commercial town that spoke to our reporter over the issue expressed worries over the rapid increase in the price of bread and other bakery products, stating that it will be difficult for them to source for other alternatives to bread and other flour products.

The buyers who lamented that the situation has narrowed their choices, however appealed to the respective authorities to see ways of addressing the situation by reducing the price of dollars and to encourage people who can afford to import flour into the country to do so.

SOURCE: TheNation

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