Ramadan is a period where Muslims are encouraged to support the less privileged with donations and charity work but this year’s is a tough task because of the ravaging impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on lives and businesses.
The Ramadan season comes along with several businesses and opportunities for people. Dealers in jewelry, shoes, bags, perfumes, weave-on, veils, skincare products as well as tailors, mistresses, make-up artists, beauticians, among several others, cash in during this period.
But the outbreak of the virus has slowed down all of these businesses due to the restrictions, as occasioned by the desperate need to contain the spread. In spite of this, there are some businesses that would experience the usual seasonal boom in the last days of the Ramadan period.
Some of those businesses are listed below.
Eid-ul Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the Ramadan period, is mostly celebrated showing love and giving alms (Zakat) to the less privilege in the society. In Ghana, the sharing of fowls to neighbours and the poor in the Zongo communities is very common. Poultry sellers take advantage of the situation to make a lot of sales.
Poultry farms and markets across the country witness spikes in sales a day or two to the end of the Ramadan period. Many privileged Muslims troop to those places to buy chickens for their Eid celebrations and also in adherence to the Zakat obligations.
With spikes in demand comes hikes in prices as well and so during this period prices of fowls usually go up.
A fowl maybe sold in the markets between GH₵50 to GH₵80 depending on the breed that is requested for, or chosen.
Obviously, the Chickens will not be enjoyed alone. It has to go with a meal and what better meal will chicken go with than rice?
And so, during this period, there is usually an increase in the demand for rice, mostly foreign. Rice dealers around this time will stock their shops with all the brands of rice that is available in the markets to satisfy the various tastes of consumers.
One 50 kg bag of imported rice (foreign) is currently selling at GH₵365.80 while the local one is trading at GH₵346.29, according to the latest commodity index from Esoko Ghana.
Cooking oil business
Cooking oil business also experience a boom in this period because the various meals that would prepared for the Eid celebration will require some amount of oil. Although most homes in the Zongo communities prefer a brand like Frytol, there are others that would also make sales within this period.
A gallon of Frytol is selling at GH₵46.00, 2-litre bottle going for GH₵25.00 and the small bottle is being sold at GH₵12.00 in the various markets.
Tomatoes sellers in this period also make a lot of sales as many women from the Muslim dominated communities go to the markets to buy them in bulk for the stews and soups. Some go as far as buying a whole crate of tomatoes which, according to Esoko, is currently selling at GH₵826 in the markets however a rubber paint container of tomatoes is sold at GH₵40.00.
During Ramadan, Maize, one of the staple crops in Ghana, is mostly used for the Zakat aspect of the celebration.
Zakat is one of the five pillars of the Islamic Religion and per the doctrines of the religion, Muslims are required to give 10 percent of their savings to the poor and the needy either in cash of kind. Hence, most Muslims share food items to the poor homes in the various communities in adherence to the zakat dictates.
Maize has come to be the common food item used for the Zakat. Because of this, maize witnesses a spike in price in the last days of Ramadan because it is cheaper and can be shared to a lot more people as compared to rice. Again, the Esoko figures indicates that one 50 kg bag of maize is currently being sold at GH₵164.
There are other businesses that will also flourish during this period, but the article focused on the main sectors.
By Salifu B.B. Moro