Osogbo – Association of master bakers in the South-West zone of the country have lamented the rising cost of ingredients for the production of bread, saying that the trend was forcing many of them out of business.
At a zonal meeting held in Osogbo, Osun State Capital yesterday, the association called for immediate intervention of the Federal Government in stemming the rising prices of ingredients being used to bake bread.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of the association, the South West leader of the association, Alhaji Abibu Abolusodun attributed the rising cost of ingredients to high import charges, exchange rates and high cost of wheat, miller.
The cost of major ingredients for baking has witnessed increase between 90 per cent to 120 per cent from January this year till date, thereby making the business of baking not to yield profits again.
He specifically said the cost of 50kg wheat flour and sugar, which he emphasised cost N6,500 and N8,000 respectively in January this year, adding that the two ingredients now cost N11,200 and N18,000 respectively.
While the bakers were not considering an increase in prices of bread as this would discourage consumers from patronising the product, Abolusodun declared that the current prices of the ingredients was making bakers to run business without profit.
He subsequently appealed to the Federal Government to subsidise cost of wheat flour and sugar as part of interim measures to stem the rising cost of the products and also encourage cultivation of wheat in the country.
“Association of master bakers is the second largest employer of labour. They are next to government. The increase in the prices of the various sizes of bread has gotten to the inelastic stage. Bakers can no longer increase prices, yet the costs of all inputs are on the high side.
“Bakers cannot breakeven at the end of production. Many bakers are now indebted, forcing them to close shop, thereby adding more to the number of unemployed people”, Abolusodun said.
Responding, a representative of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc at the media parley, Mr. Kolawole Adedayo, explained that import duties being charged on wheat has increased by 35 per cent from the previous 10 per cent.
He added that the fluctuating foreign exchange rate was also a contributory factor, urging the government to reduce the import charge and exchange rate to stabilise the price.
The post Bread Bakers Lament High Cost Of Ingredients appeared first on Independent Nigeria.
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Author: Gbenga Faturoti