A Ghana News Agency (GNA) survey in the Techiman Municipality in the Brong-Ahafo region has revealed an increase in food prices, which has been attributed to the beginning of the new planting season, Christmas festivities and the recent celebration of Eid-Ul-Adha festival by Muslims.
Mr Dominic Akussung, Techiman Municipal Marketing and Agricultural Statistician of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) who conducted GNA round the Techiman Central market said the increased prices would continue till February next year when farmers need money to either expand or cultivate new farms.
However, he said the prices of maize, yams, beans, groundnuts and plantain would depend on their quality.
Mr Akussung said an average of 109 tubers of yam (puna) cost between GH¢100 and GH¢160, whilst an average bunch of plantain sold at two Ghana cedis as against three Ghana cedis last year.
A 120 kilogramme bag of cassava costs GH¢15 the same as last year, a crate of tomatoes for GH¢60 as against GH¢25 last year, dried pepper of 20 kilogrammes a bag sold at GH¢85 this year, as against GH¢50 last year, whilst a 30 kilogramme bag of fresh pepper sells at GH¢29 as against GH¢18 last year.
Mr Akussung said cowpea (white beans) was being sold at GH¢60 per 110 kilogramme bag as against GH¢45 last year, a 90 kilogramme bag of groundnut sold at GH¢95 this year as against GH¢74 last year with palm fruit sold at GH¢21 per average basket as against GH¢12 last year.
He said oranges were been sold at three Ghana cedis per bag of 160 singles as against two Ghana cedis last year, cocoyam now sold at GH¢60 per 91 kilogramme bag as against GH¢42 per bag of 130 kilogramme as against GH¢22 last year, whilst millet (ayuo) was being sold at GH¢70 per 95 kilogramme bag, as against GH¢43 last year.
Mr Akussung said due to the rising cost of non-perishable food items like maize and cowpea, he appealed to Government to intervene to construct more silos and purchase food as buffer-stock to forestall scarcity during the lean season to help consumers.
He stressed the need for Government to regulate the exportation of foodstuff to neighbouring countries.
In a related development, the December 28, Presidential run-off has affected the euphoria associated with Christmas festivities in the Sunyani Municipality.
Storekeepers, market women and petty traders who in the past decorated their shops with balloons and toys as well as erect “money boxes” to mark the annual practice are absent.
Most of the local radio stations which were noted for playing Christmas carols and arranging for relief items including chicken, bread, milk and second-hand clothing for widows and orphans during Christmas celebrations now used most of their airtime to discuss issues concerning the run-off.
Barely six days to the run-off, there is a reduction in business activities in the municipality with traders complaining about low patronage of their wares.
Mr Yaw Osei, a storekeeper told the GNA that even though prices of some consumables have been reduced because of the reduction in prices of petroleum products, daily sales have reduced.
He said customers were not even buying a mini bag of rice which had been reduced from GH¢9.50 to GH¢8.50.
Mr Osei was optimistic that after the run-off, sales would improve.
Some of the traders attributed the reduction in their daily sales to the current economic hardship and the delay in payment of salaries.