Importance of the Metric System

The Metric System is a measurement system which uses Standard International (SI) Units. It is simple to learn and easy to use because of its decimal nature. Almost all of the countries in the world use the metric system although many products are still manufactured in common sizes for public use. Let’s look at the metric units used for measuring mass commonly referred to as weight by consumers.

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The metric base unit for measuring mass is the Kilogram. When the Kilogram is divided by 1000 the result is 1 gram and when the Kilogram is multiplied by 1000 the result is 1 metric tonne.  (Note the difference in spelling for tonne)

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 The units of Mass (Weight)

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For everyday transactions especially in the conduct of commerce, there are four commonly used units namely the milligram, gram, kilogram and tonne.

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 Milligram (mg)    -      This unit is used for measuring very small amounts of substances for example, ingredients in medicines or drugs and some ingredients in recipes. It is the equivalent of 1 gram divided by 1000.

 Gram (g)   - The gram is used for measuring intermediate amounts. For example, 100 grams of butter, 250 grams of cheese, 500 grams of peas, sugar, flour, etc.

28.35 grams is equivalent to 1 ounce

½ kilogram or 500 grams is equivalent to 1 pound 1 ½ ounce.

Kilogram (kg) - The Kilogram is used for measuring larger amounts. For example, 1 kilogram of potatoes,  10 kilogram of bananas, 25 kilogram of rice, etc.

One kilogram equals two pounds three ounces.

Tonne (t) - This unit is used for measuring very large amounts, for example, one (1) truckload of sand or stone, bulk sugar or rice.                


Tonne (t) - This unit is used for measuring very large amounts, for example, one (1) truckload of sand or stone, bulk sugar or rice.                

Remember!      1000 milligrams (mg) equal 1 gram (g)
                      1000 grams (g) equal 1 kilogram (kg)
                       1000 kilograms (kg) equal one tonne (t)

Consumers, you are urged to start requesting solid goods such as rice, peas, onions and potatoes from shops and markets in grammes and kilogrammes. These units should also be used to weigh solid hardware items such as nails, putty and glues that are sold by weight. These goods can be easily and accurately weighed on verified metric devices used in the market place.

Wholesalers and retailers have a significant role to play by packaging and selling their solid goods in metric quantities. Advertise your goods and prepare and display your price lists in metric quantities.

For further information please contact the GNBS on Tel: 219-0062, 219-0065, 219-0066, 219-0069