RICE traders at Mpulungu’s Mupata market have raised the price of the cereal due to poor harvests following little rains received during the last farming season.

The traders said they saw the need to increase the prices because of low production and their needed to raise money to use on electricity charges to keep the rice machines (vigayo) running.

But one of the rice buyers Mercy Sikazwe told the Sun that complained that the price had doubled in many cases as though the rice was not locally grown, which she said was not very fair.

“We were buying a bucket (meda), about 10 litres in volume at K60 before but now the price has gone up to K120 which is too much,

 “Mpulungu rice has been costly this season, we have to then keep up with the prices they are selling it at,” said Ms Sikazwe.

Another unhappy buyer Prudence Akalemwa explained that last year they used spend between K40 and K50 in some places for the same quantity of rice but now it had increased to between K110 and K120 on some stands.

She said when customer asked famers why they had increased the prices, they were being told that was the only way they could survive.

The growers blames the price hike on bad weather that affected the cultivating of rice during the last farming season, adding that the situation was equally beyond their control.

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