Friday, November 16, 2007

Market Madness

Even in a “good” year , around one million of the 12.8 million people who live in Burkina Faso do not get enough to eat every year, mostly due to poverty.
This year, grain prices are rising sharply, putting more at risk. Producers are accused of hoarding and merchants of price gouging. Despite government predictions of a national surplus overall, shortfalls are reported in key production areas – and internal markets and exports mean there may be shortages.

The price of millet, a staple product in Burkina, is up 5 percent, sorghum by 11 percent and maize by 23 percent compared to average prices for November. Traders at Sankariare market in Ouagadougou, one of the key cereal markets in the country, said prices are already up by 40 percent or more compared to the same time last year.

"Saying that there is a surplus does not mean in all villages and provinces of the country there will be food for every body," the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Fisheries, Salif Diallo said .

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