A majority of butchers in major towns of Cameroon are on strike over what they say is government’s unwillingness to address concerns linked to a sharp rise in the price of beef.
At the “Acacias” market, in Yaoundé VI, the price of a kilogram of boneless beefsteak is being sold at XAF3,000 instead of the official XAF2,800 price tag. Such price increase has also been noticed in markets at Etoudi, Essos, Mvog-Mbi, Nkolndongo, and Mimboman.
The testimonies gathered are similar to this statement from a housewife at Acacias: “We buy a kilogram of boneless beefsteak at XAF3,000. Some sellers even add XAF200 to that price claiming that meat is scarce now. We have no other choice than to buy at the prices they deem fit. On Saturday March 9th I bought a kilogram of beef at XAF3,500.”
The sellers interviewed claim the price hike was due to an increase in the prices of products right from abattoirs, transport costs, and taxes. “Beef prices have increased even at slaughterhouses. When we add transport costs and taxes we have to pay here, we have no other choice than to sell at those prices,” a seller said at Acacias.
The butchers under the banner of their association known as National Butchers Union stopped retailing beef to the public today. The industrial action is said to have been called by some members of the union to express their grievances.
Following a crisis meeting held today with the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO , for Mfoundi, the butchers’ concerns have been referred to the Governor of the Center Region, Naseri Paul Bea.
The prefect for Mfoundi is says the matter was beyond his competence to handle. Another meeting has been programmed today but this time with the Governor of the Centre region.
The butchers on their part say they are not satisfied. Some of them are said to have maintained that, even the Governor cannot handle their grievances.