El Gedaref — Bread is being sold in the black market in El Gedaref in Sudan as the flour shortage endures in the state.
A resident told Radio Dabanga from the state in eastern Sudan that the price of a loaf of bread in the black market has amounted to 80 pence instead of 50 pence.
A large number of bakeries in the state closed because of the lack of flour. He called on the federal government to intervene urgently to address the bread crisis.
Meanwhile the markets in El Gedaref witnessed an unprecedented decline in the purchase of goods. Merchant Usama El Sayed told Radio Dabanga that the decline is caused by the surge of prices, as well as people being pre-occupied with the agricultural season.
A number of shops were closed because they suffered financial losses, El Sayed said. "The income of people is not enough to buy their basic needs."
In the beginning of this month the minister of finance and economy of El Gedaref attributed the crisis to the alleged sale of quantities of flour by owners of bakeries to traders in the markets.
The secretary-general of El Gedaref Chamber of Commerce held the Ministry of Finance in the state responsible for the bread shortage, because of its non-commitment to distribute the quota of flour to the bakeries in the state. He confirmed the reduction in quotas by 50 per cent.
Since the start of this year, people in various parts of Sudan, in particularly in the east of the country, complain about a shortage of flour. In Khartoum almost a quarter of all bakeries are reported to have stopped work because of the lack of flour according to the head of the state's statistical office. This was contradicted when the director-general of the Ministry of Finance, Adel Abdelaziz El Faki, announced this week that no bakeries in the state have stopped working because of a lack of flour.