Some consumers in the upper East Region have cast doubts on food inflation figures presented by the Ghana Statistical Service, (GSS) and said it is underestimated.
The GSS cited in its report of February 2023, all food commodities in the various Markets in the Region in the Month of January in Upper East Region (UER) to an overall inflation of 43.7 per cent in the Month of January with food inflation recording 38.1 per cent.
According to the data on the Consumer Pricing Index, the region has the lowest rate of food inflation among the Northern Regions of Ghana.
The Upper west Region recorded the highest rate of food inflation with 59.4 per cent, the North East Region recorded 58.8 per cent, the Savannah Region recorded 55.1 per cent and the Northern Region recorded 49.5 per cent.
On non-food inflation, the upper East Region recorded 46.6 per cent while the Savannah Region recorded 55.2 per cent, being the highest among the Northern Regions.
According to the GSS prices of food commodities in December 2022 which recorded 43.7 per cent either maintained or increased in January 2023, hence, the food inflation figure for January 2023 was understated and does not in any way represent the reality.
Madam Nmah Mboo, a leader of the foodstuff traders at the Bolgatanga New Market in an interview with the argued, that the month of January was similar to that of October, explaining that the two months saw hikes in prices of foodstuffs.
“The month of January can be liken to that of October because in those months we saw a hike in prices of food commodities and that is because there was shortage of fresh vegetables for instance which gave rise to prices because demand was more than supply”. She said
“Also at the Bolgatanga Market, prices of food commodities between the Month of December 2022 and January 2023 increased, a bowl of local rice which was sold at GH₵20 and GH₵23 rose to GH₵25 and GH₵30 in January, a bowl of maize also rose from GH₵13 to GH₵15” she added.
Mrs Gifty Awimbisah, a trader of grains at the Bolgatanga market in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the figure on inflation was understated given the hikes in food stuff on the month of January.
“It can’t be true that there was suddenly a decline of 5.6 per cent on food inflation between December and January because prices of goods either maintained or even increased as at January depending on the commodity in question” she stated.
“For instance, the same ball of Kenkey that was sold at GH₵3 on December increased to GH₵4 on January because price of maize per bowl rose from GH₵13 to GH15”. She added
Mrs Awimbisah emphasized that ‘’ The likes of maize and rice which forms a major component of our food basket are bought from Walewale in the North East Region, so obviously prices of those goods would be much higher here as compared to that place”.