In Comoros, President Azali Assoumani announced on Monday, July 3rd, the liberalization of the country’s most consumed product, rice. This decision marks the end of the monopoly held by the National Office of Rice Importation and Commercialization (ONICOR), which has been plagued by various challenges including financial complexities, criticized management, recurring shortages, and price increases, among others.
The recent decision to end the decades-long monopoly held by the National Office of Rice Importation and Commercialization signifies a significant milestone. Amongst traders, the news of this liberalization has been mostly met with approval, although some concerns linger. Moussa, who operates a small shop in Moroni, expresses his perspective, stating, “It is about time! The mismanagement of such a vital commodity by Onicor has been nothing short of disappointing.”
Now, it is up to individuals to take their stance. Let us hope that the allocation of operating licenses will not be granted haphazardly, but rather by legal regulations and guidelines.”
The enthusiasm among the population is high. Recently, the price of ordinary rice has reached one euro per kilogram and is even higher at some retailers. “This is a very positive development because it means we will have a greater variety of products, and most importantly, it implies that prices will be lowered,” explains Amina, a mother. “It will be a breath of fresh air for many families. We can only rejoice during these times of crisis.”
For the employees of Onicor, while they acknowledge the necessity of liberalization, they would have preferred to be involved in the process to have sufficient time to prepare for the opening of the competition.