Prices Food prices in Ghana continue to rise despite the ease of restriction due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Food prices in April would continue to impact in the month of May.
The latest Commodity Index from Esoko indicates an increase in food prices for the month of April 2020.
There was a hike of 28.84% in the price of cassava to close the month of April at GH₵124.33 from GH₵96.50 per bag traded in March.
Pona, a variety of yam, has increased from GH₵667.17 in March to be trading at GH 814.67 per 100 tubers, gaining 22.11% increment.
There was also an increase in the price of tomato from GH₵665.17 the previous month to GH₵826 in April per crate in March, representing an increase of 24.1 percent.
Also, the average price of a bag of maize gained 18.11% to close at GH₵164 from GH₵138.86 with cowpea making a gain of 15.26% to close at GH₵428.29 from GH₵371.57 per bag.
In addition to this, Gari closed at GH₵228.29 representing an increase of 13.66% in price from GH₵200.86 sold the previous month with millet closing at GH₵247.57 representing an increase of 7.64%.
Meanwhile, the Commodity Index further showed that Local rice (white) gained 4.98 percent to close at GH₵346.29. Whilst imported rice increased marginally to GH₵366.00 from GH₵365.80 sold the previous month. Soya also gained 4.11 percent increment to close at GH₵271.71 per bag.
Similarly, Wheat increased by 4.51 percent to close at GH₵296.40 per bag with groundnut shelled gaining 3 percent to close at GH₵549.71 per bag.
The report further indicates that Groundnut made a three percent gain to close at GH₵549.71 from GH₵533.71 in March with soya gaining 4.11% to close at GH₵271.71 from GH₵261.00 last month.
Millet, on the other hand, increased from GH₵230.00 to GH₵247.57, representing an increment of 7.64 percent.
On the outlook for May 2020, Esoko says “consumers and traders are still not certain about the way forward in the COVID-19 fight. With the modification of how markets are set up in some areas coupled with the fact that we are in the production period, it is expected that commodity prices will continue to show some upward movements”.
The average price for a bag of maize gained 18.11% to close the month at GHS 164. The highest price of GHS 218 was recorded at Takoradi. The lowest price of GHS 93 was recorded at Tamale.
The average price for a bag of local rice gained 4.98% to close the month at GHS 346.29. The highest price, GHS 440, was recorded at Dambai with the lowest price of GHS 260, recorded at Tamale.
A crate of tomato gained 24.18% to close the month at GHS 826. The highest price, GHS 1233, was recorded at Dambai with the lowest price, GHS 621, recorded at Kumasi.
Food prices usually at this time of the year could be high. However in addition to the seasonal spikes at the onset of the rainy season, the restricted movements and caution by food vendors could all be reasons why food prices have increased.
By Salifu B.B. Moro