Liberian Markets: Part 2

Another observation about Liberian markets concerns the way goods are exhibited. Generally, goods are arranged in terms of piles. Piles can be bigger, or smaller depending on the monetary value asked for them. For example, bird eye chilli pepper can be sold in regular piles, or in smaller piles sufficiently big for the cooking of a single serving of soup. Similarly, imported or manufactured food products such as spices and and condiments are repackaged into different sized sachets. For example, tomato puree comes into LBD 2 and LBD 5 sachets. Can anyone help me with some more examples? Butter? Peanut butter? Red pepper? Black pepper? Salt? Sugar?

packaging

The variety and the nature of the packaging used at Liberian markets is generally in accord with the informality characteristic of Liberian markets. Nonetheless, it reveals the lack of standardisation at the marketplaces. I suppose this might pose challenges to the use of information system (by remotely located buyers and sellers) with regards to subsequent exchange.  What do you think?

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One thought on “Liberian Markets: Part 2”

  1. I received the following communication by email with regards to this post. And I thought I would share it:

    “I just read your blog posts on Liberian markets. Unfortunately I’m not sure I’m able to give you any further examples to the questions you pose on your blog, but I was curious of a few things. First of all I think the code for Liberian Dollars is LRD and not LBD, but I could be wrong. Secondly you talk about things selling for “2 LBD”, but the smallest denomination of Liberian dollars is a $5 note. I know for some things that are cheaper than 5LRD they sell them as “two for $5.” I know for a while boiled eggs were “2 for 15″, or essentially 7.5LRD per egg. Unfortunately the price has gone up to 1 for 10. Any way just wanted to ask about those two things.”

    As far as the abbreviation is concerned, I got LRD from http://www.xe.com. But I will certainly doublecheck and make corrections if LBD is the appropriate acronym.

    I take the point about the 5 dollar bill being the smallest. I remember making note of this during my observations. But I also remember clearly that the market traders told me that the smallest sachets they were selling cost 2 dollars. I can only guess that maybe 2 small sachets of different seasonings would cost 5 dollars. It makes sense to be paying for a relatively smaller quantity and to be getting in exchange greater variety. Does that sound right? Would anyone be able to check it for me with the market women?

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