Monday, 28 April 2008 12:55 PM

Shoppers in Solomon Islands Face High Prices

People in Honiara, Solomon Islands, are now feeling the pinch of what seems to be a general rise in the price of goods due to the dual effects of high fuel prices and a global food shortage.

In less then a month the price of food has jumped quite significantly, a 20 kilo bag of rice now cost SBD$138, up from SBD$115, the price for a loaf of bread is now SBD$7, up from SBD$5.50, a small packet of sugar, which was then SBD$5.00, is now SBD$6.00.

"We have to face all these prices at once and it is just too much...even noodles in shops has gone up from $1.60 to SBD$2.30...this is getting very difficult," a mother of two, Mrs. Joy Buru, said when asked how the price rise has affected her. "The higher prices have caused life to be very bitter each day."

"I am quite disappointed, the Solrice company said that the price of rice will be going down since government is not taxing them as much...yet the price of rice are the worst I have seen for a long time," said Mr Paul Manu, a father of three young children.

The general hike in prices has been blamed on the rise in the cost of fuel. "These goods have to be shipped from far away, as far away as China, and with the rise in fuel cost...unfortunately this affects the final cost of the goods we sell," said Mr. Yee, a shop owner in Honiara.

The Solomon Islands is not alone in the spiraling price of general goods. The general rise in prices, particularly for rice, has caused much political strife in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Food security is now becoming a huge political concern for most of these countries.

"The Solomon Islands government needs to give some serious thought to this problem of high prices as it could become a real problem," said a concerned shopper. "I am well paid, yet I am feeling the effects and it is terrible."

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