Despite High Prices: Sudanese Hold on to Their Customs during Ramadan
Celebrating the advent of the holy month of Ramadan is an event now rifling all through the Islamic world. This month is of great importance in Sudan where preparations for it start early by securing spices, nutritional seeds (wheat, sorghum, corn), dried fruits, in addition to some of the things that only the Sudanese are famous of.
(Sudan Vision) toured the Khartoum state markets to assess the preparations for the holy month, they all confirmed the special nature of this month has resulted in prompting them to prepare well by procuring the best nutritional products there are. They affirmed that the demand for goods this year is low in comparison to the earlier years, but the economic crisis has not affected the market circulation on a large scale.
Different Prices This Year
Prices of consumer commodities have skyrocketed, in some cases prices have well trudged the line to a 200% increase. Ahmed Altayeb, merchant, said to (Sudan Vision) that prices have gone up steeply, a thing which have affected the general demand level of the citizens. The prices of beans have gone up to double their price last year, and prices of traditional juice products (Hibiscus, Tbaldi, etc.) have gone up more than double rate last year. Ahmed Altayeb described this year's demand as weak and attributed that to high Dollar-Pound exchange rate. Ahmed denied that decreased sale centers have in any way caused this low demand, confirming that they sell goods at the same prices as Wholesale centers, that except for sugar which is being subsidized by the state. He complained that trade chambers do not provide the required support and that they stand unmoved while wholesalers suffer.
Abd Alwahab Mohammed Suleiman complained that the demand is weak, especially on some commodities such as lentils, raisins, beans, and spices.
|Khartoum state markets|
Jamal Hussein on the other hand confirmed that the market has witnessed a surge of bloom in the last few days due the absence of street vendors whose supply subsided in the wake of last increase in prices.
But he added that the burden alleviation programs devised by the government did contribute to decelerating demand but it did not totally cancel it since there are categories outside the coverage umbrella of these programs which mainly covered employees.
Most Commodities Are Local Sudanese Ones
Citizen Eisa Ahmed Wad Alikheider confirmed that this year's prices are suitable and have not surged up that much, that in comparison to the surge in the Dollar-Pound Exchange rates. He said that made sure that he bought all the necessary goods that cannot be spared during Ramadan, especially the local Sudanese commodities such as the local juices made of Aradaib and Gunglez, juices that have great health benefits.
Mayor Eisa mentioned a number of benefits that can be gained by having dates especially when one breaks his/her fasting with them (dates). He also said having Hibiscus purifies blood, and he recommended that a person must drink a glass of milk at Sahoor time (the time just before dawn that precedes the fasting starting point).
Altom Altijani Ahmed, citizen, demanded that censorship must be exercised on markets since the prices of certain commodities such as raisins and milk were increased just before Ramadan, confirming that the prices of some commodities went up considerably just in the past two days, asking the traders to stop being greedy.
Flour Price Holds Steady
|Khartoum state markets|
Alsadig Osman, wheat and corn trader, confirmed that prices are steady and have not changed much than what they were like last year, especially wheat, corn, sorghum, and flour prices, but he appeared sad that people now prefer buying ready imported flour to buying local flour. He confirmed that the quality of local seeds is better than the imported ones since they are brought from the farm to the consumers directly.
Prices of Utensils Went Up Considerably
Nasr Aldin Hamid Mustafa said that prices have gone up considerably compared to last year due to the matching increase in commodity prices. He said a 3kilogram bucket now costs 13 SDG, a jug 7-6 SDG, and Fiber plates 9-4 SDG. He said the citizens' demand for buckets and spoons has been noticeably large despite the economic pressures they are under.
Despite the high increase in the prices of goods and commodities, the citizens still buy the indispensable consumer commodities such as Hibiscus and beans which are by consensus some of the most important Ramadan dishes and juices.
By Hana Abdel Hai , Najad Ahmed, 21/07/2012