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Food prices up as Christmas draws near

Enquiries show that the prices of foodstuffs and livestock have increased with the approach of the Christmas festivities.

In Accra, the capital, enquiries made at the Madina and the Agbogbloshie markets showed that prices quoted for livestock and food items had increased.

A trader in foodstuffs and livestock who purchases her stock from the Afram Plains, Mrs Gladys Asare, quoted GH¢250, GH¢200 and GH¢80 for different sizes of goats.

At the Agbogbloshie Market in the central business area, prices differed slightly, as those quoted for similar sized goats were between GH¢50 and GH¢100.

Traders, meanwhile, complained about low patronage but were hopeful that business would pick up in the final days to Christmas.

Upper East

From Bolgatanga, Vincent Amenuveve reports that the prices of foodstuffs and livestock in the Upper East Region have shot up days to the Christmas celebrations, following the closure of the Yapei and the Buipe bridges.

Additionally, traders complained that their business activities had been adversely affected due to the closure of the bridges.

Traders in tomatoes, for instance, said they no longer got enough supplies from the south to the region.

A trader at the Bolgatanga Fowl Market, Mr Robert Ayamga, told the Daily Graphic that demand for local fowls and Guinea fowls had plummeted, as compared to the demand last year.

He said last year customers came from the south to purchase the fowls in large quantities.

At market centres in Bolgatanga, traders quoted one Guinea fowl between GH¢20 and GH¢30, while a local fowl was  sold between GH¢30 and GH¢35, depending on colour and size.

A box of tomatoes sold at GH¢700, but last year it was sold at between GH¢250 and GH¢300.

A bucket of tomatoes that used to be sold at GH¢150 is this year going for GH¢300.

A bag of onions which used to sell between GH¢80 and GH¢100 is now going for GH¢170, while a 25-kilogramme bag of rice which used to sell at GH¢122 is now selling at GH¢124, depending on the brand, with traders saying that the dollar and CFA exchange rates are all factors in pricing.

Brong Ahafo

In Sunyani, Biiya Mukusah Ali reports that business in poultry, livestock and foodstuffs is picking up gradually with the approach of Christmas.

Traders stated that customers were trickling in as the festive occasion was drawing near.

The prices of livestock have shot up slightly following the closure of the Buipe and the Yapei bridges.

For instance, a sheep which used to be sold between GH¢400 and GH¢1,400 is now selling between GH¢600 and GH¢1,500

In 2016, the prices of goats ranged between GH¢300 and GH¢500 but they are now being sold between GH¢350 and GH¢600.

The prices of poultry, however, remain unchanged from last year’s figures of between GH¢25 and GH¢55.

In the case of foodstuffs, three big tubers of yam were being sold for GH¢40, while three relatively smaller ones were sold at GH¢20 when the Daily Graphic visited some of the market centres.

The prices of plantain range from GH¢10 to GH¢20 per bunch, depending on the size, while a small container of cocoyam is sold at GH¢35.

Central Region

Business is brisk by the day in Cape Coast as residents prepare for Christmas, Shirley Asiedu-Addo reports from Cape Coast.

Traders were doing brisk business, especially in the Kingsway area and at the Kotokuraba and the Abura marketsvisited the central business district of the metropolis.

The prices of goods, according to the traders, had gone up slightly compared to the prices at the same time last year, but traders and patrons interviewed said they believed business would be good and Christmas would be exciting.

The prices of poultry range from GH¢35 to GH¢50, compared to last year’s prices which ranged between GH¢25 and GH¢40.

A carton of chicken ranges between GH¢85 and GH¢100, while a tuber of yam (puna) at the Abura Market is sold between GH¢10 and GH¢14, with a crate of eggs sold between GH¢16 and GH¢18. Last year the same sold between GH¢13 and GH¢16.

SRID

Prices at the various markets did not differ much from what had been gathered by the Statistics, Research and Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).

The directorate collects prices of foodstuffs and livestock from some key markets nation-wide on a weekly basis.

Its figures showed that the prices of yam, cassava, rice and plantain, livestock and poultry, basic staples in the food basket of most families, had all shown slight increases with the approaching festivities.

Nationwide figures from selected markets in the first week of December show an average price for a bag of maize at GH¢136.83; the average for a bag of perfumed rice was GH¢295.78; the average price for 100 tubers of yam was GH¢396.71; the average price for a bag of cassava was GH¢96.86, while an average bunch of plantain (apentu) was going for GH¢10.44.

A crate of local tomatoes was sold averagely at GH¢195.83, while Navrongo tomatoes was GH¢339.49 and a bag of onions was sold for GH¢382.72.

A kilogramme of chicken (frozen) was being averagely sold at GH¢8.31, while a live bird was selling at an average price of GH¢21.40.

For livestock, the latest figures collated in the final quarter of the year showed that a young bullock was being sold for an average of GH¢750, while a big cow cost about GH¢20,000. Sheep were going for an average of between GH¢80 and GH¢200, while a goat was between GH¢80 and GH¢350.

Retail figures showed that with as much as GH¢3.50, a kilogramme of any of the local grains could be purchased, while an individual would need almost GH¢7.31 to purchase the same amount of imported rice, although the locally produced rice was going for about half the amount.

Production centres

An official of the SRID, Mr Kwadwo Adakwa, said the figures were collated from selected markets across the country.

They were the Agbogbloshie, Tema, Hohoe, Koforidua, Takoradi, Ejura, Kumasi Central, Sunyani, Techiman, Tamale, Aboabo, Yendi, Bolgatanga and Garu markets.

He explained that depending on the area, some products tended to be less costly, while items in other areas that were far removed from the production centres tended to be more expensive because of transportation costs.

For instance, a bag of maize was going for GH¢95.43 at Ejura, GH¢90 at Aboabo, GH¢73.21 at Garu, while the same bag went for GH¢184 in Takoradi, GH¢180 in Tema and Koforidua and GH¢150 at Agbogbloshie.

Mr Adakwa said the inching up of prices reflected the normal general increases when Christmas was approaching.

His advice was for people to buy their foodstuffs and livestock early in order not to be caught up with the hikes in prices a few days to Christmas.

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