By Mike Adeyemi

Kwara Master Bakers have concluded plans to increase the price of bread by 25 per cent after  Ramadan, Pilot Business can report. 
The President of the association in the State, Alh. Abdulfatai Alaba said the increment became necessary as a result of hike in the cost of raw materials.
Alaba said with effect from next month (June) there will be  25 percent  hike in the prices of bread in the state.
“The challenges we face as a result of the incessant increase in the prices of baking ingredients has made most Kwara bakeries  to go comatose and  making those of us in business  to operate at a loss,” he lamented.
Alaba noted that despite the incessant inflation of  prices of flour, sugar and other baking ingredients by threefold in the past three years, there had been no corresponding increase in the price of bread by  bakers in the state. 
The association boss said, “Between 2016 and 2019, the price of flour had increased from N6,500 to N11,500 per 50kg bag, while sugar had seen 77 per cent rise in price within the same period, with salt, margarine, yeast and preservatives recording  84 per cent, 67 per cent, 112 per cent, 45 per cent and 137 per cent increment, respectively.
“Also, the price of diesel, which we use to power factory generators on a 24-hour basis, had gone up by 57 per cent, while the price of improvers used in enhancing the quality of bread has risen by 160 per cent during the period under review, conversely, the price of bread had only witnessed 11 per cent rise within the time.
“Most of us obtained loans with double-digit interest rates from financial institutions to fund our business  and are finding it extremely difficult to meet our loan repayment obligations,”  Alaba further lamented.
He stressed that the measure became inevitable to save the bread industry in he state from going under.
With the proposed  increment in a loaf which is sold for  N200 will now be N250, that of N100 will be increased to N150. Also a N350 loaf of bread will go for  N400.