Besides celebration of Christmas and New Year’s Day, the last three months of the year, in Cameroon are usually marked by religious feasts, cultural jamborees, family reunions, weddings and other ceremonies that require cooking of foodstuff and purchase of wines in large amounts. Prices of foodstuff like fish, meat, chicken, rice, edible oils among others, usually skyrocket during this period.
In the past, shortages were recorded of such foodstuffs that are usually in high demand when the feasts are approaching. Unscrupulous businessmen had developed the habit of creating artificial scarcity even when there were none during this season, in a bid to make some quick profits. Government in response undertook and kept the commitment to free citizens from the burdens brought about by shortages and extortions from such businessmen. This year, prices of fish, meat, chicken, rice, edible oils in cities like Douala and Yaounde have remained relatively stable, though some citizens fear the situation may not remain the same in the days ahead. In some cities like Kumba in the crisis-stricken Anglophone regions, there has been a slight increase in some products such as vegetable oils and wines but businessmen say this is not due to high demand. They relate it to the drop in importation of goods from Nigeria.
From a nationwide perspective, it is apparent the efforts of government to fight against rising costs of living during these periods are yielding fruits. Since his entry into government, as Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atagana has been organising several indoor and outdoor activities to make citizens comfortable during festive periods. In addition to holding meetings with major dealers in foodstuffs every end of the year, he sometimes, like in November 2015, carries out visits in all 10 regions of the country to ensure prices are maintained. Besides efforts taken by the Minister of Trade, other ministries like the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, MINADER is also carrying out activities in that regard. This year MINADER has organised mini agro pastoral shows in all regional capitals of the country. The fairs have apparently also contributed in keeping prices of goods stable in some urban areas, as farmers and agribusinesses within these regions do not only come out to showcase their products but equally sell them at cheaper prices.