Can we be consistent?

first_imgDear Editor,We’ve seen Chinese supermarkets opening all over Guyana, and many citizens have started to support them because they are selling cheaper than other supermarkets/shops. On closer investigation, I’ve discovered that the retail prices for beverages (alcohol/non-alcohol) are similar to the shop/agent’s wholesale prices, and that you get to take the bottles away from the Chinese supermarkets for the same price, whilst you have to pay for the bottle at the wholesale shops.I’ve also noticed that many people are now buying their rums/vodkas/whiskeys from these Chinese supermarkets because they are cheaper there. Such is competition, but I wonder how the Chinese are able to sell at such low prices, especially when the agents are selling at the prices recommended by their suppliers and the agents/wholesalers are claiming that to sell at anything lower would be selling at a loss for them.I’ve gone to make purchases at different supermarkets operated by Chinese, and I have come to the conclusion that if you don’t check whatever you are purchasing, when you are ready to use it, you would suffer tremendous losses. I purchased a sealed bag of rice, and when I opened it at home, it was infested with rice weevils.It should be noted that I’m in no way trying to discredit any particular place, because I’ve also experienced similar situations at local supermarkets operated and owned by Guyanese.And upon checking my other purchases, I discovered there were some bad onions, garlic and potatoes among the good ones.Editor, I’ve only recently observed that certain places were being raided, expired and spoilt items confiscated, and people were getting charged. Apart from the wholesale places, the Stabroek Market was also raided, and the next day, items similar to those seized were back on sale at the market. Many of these sellers claim ignorance of the condition of the items they put up for sale, but the truth of the matter is that they are fully aware of the condition of those items; however, opportunity exists for them to make a huge profit at the threat of people’s health, and they take the opportunity. Many of these items enter this country under the approval of the Customs, the Food and Drugs Administration and other relevant bodies responsible because someone ‘inside’ had taken a ‘small change’.As for weights and measurements, that culture of shortchanging people is very much prevalent all over the country to date. The last time the Bureau of Statistics raided the Stabroek Market, they found a tremendous amount of discrepancies. Many of these places would have the approved scales/weights but still shortchange you in your purchase; you are not getting what you paid for. That’s the culture of many Guyanese.Could that stop? No, because many of those sellers would have ‘contacts,’ and when a raid is about to take place, the contacts would tip-off the culprits. Many of these employees would ‘pass by’ and collect a small ‘change’ just to allow the lawlessness to continue. The ‘shakedown’ is very prevalent in Stabroek Market.Finally, Editor, I’ve also talked about our farmers lacing the vegetables with chemicals and putting them for sale. These chemicals are supposed to be used on the plants/vegetables at {based on the type} least seven to fifteen days before picking. I am almost 100% certain that this is not being practised by the farmers. As usual, most Guyanese would do their shopping for the coming week on weekends, and many would store their vegetables (or certain types) in a fridge. Many, including myself, would notice that these vegetables would start to melt, get ripe, or spoil two days after. This is a direct result of the chemicals being used and the way they were administered.Now, I’ve a friend on the FB list who works at NAREI, and I’ve asked her about the procedure and if there are any tools that could be used to visit the market and test the vegetables for traces of chemicals. To date, I am awaiting an answer. I’m of the view that raids should be conducted on the farmers when they are selling, and their produce should be tested, because majority of buyers are being shortchanged and the vegetables have chemicals which are dangerous to our health. We can’t use half of what we purchase three to four days after. Where are we heading, and what are we paying for?Sincerely,Sahadeo Bateslast_img read more