The National, Wednesday October 9th, 2013
By FIDELIS SUKINA
BETEL nuts prices have shot up in markets but the wholesale price has dropped dramatically, causing confusion in the trade since the National Capital District slapped a ban on its sale, wholesalers say.
Wholesalers from Kerema and Mekeo at the Lareva Market in NCD are angry at the price cut.
“We carry the buai up the river and waste almost K400 to bring it into Port Moresby and here we are forced to sell it at K45 and K35 (a bag), ” a seller said.
With penalties to be imposed at the end of this month, vendors are scrambling for the opportunity to make a fast kina.
Aike Avosa, a buai seller and church worker at Murua, in Gulf, said buyers were placing the burden on them to sell the buai as low as K35 a bag and it was not fair.
“We have no relatives here in the city and PMV owners provide us with everything, including accommodation, and yet we can’t make a profit,” she said.
“These bags are worth K200 each but we have no choice but to sell them or we won’t make money.”
In this newspaper yesterday, vendors around the city said they were selling buai for as much as K2, previously K1, and with wholesalers complaining about huge losses, it seemed the vendors were having a grab of the profit before Nov 1.
According to the NCD Governor Powes Parkop, Lareva market would be the only wholesale market in the city. The other market locations are Waigani, Tokarara, Rainbow, Gerehu Waikele, Sabama, Hanuabada, Koki and Gerehu Sports Field. They will act as retail markets until Nov 1.