Following a crisis meeting held March 20 in Yaoundé, rice and fish importers, consumer rights associations alongside the trade ministry reached concerted prices to contain the recent surge in the market.
Parties agreed to stabilize prices of “20 plus” mackerel, a fish very demanded in Cameroon because of its affordable price, at XAF1,000-1,250 per kg in Douala and Yaoundé. Recently, prices peaked at XAF2,000 per kg. As for rice, in particular the “25% broken rice” range, which represents 70% of local consumption, had prices lowered to XAF330-350 per kilogram (instead of XAF400 in recent weeks), in the two focus cities.
A memo from the trade department says fish and rice are available in sufficient quantities to guarantee supplies over four months, thus undermining the claims of a shortage due, according to importers, to difficulties in paying foreign suppliers; a situation that allegedly follows currency scarcity in banks (argument rejected by the Central Bank).[Source: Business in Cameroon]