Traders and members of the general public have expressed concern about the continuous increase in the prices of major staples.
Prices of maize, rice, yam, gari, beans, cooking oils, onions, plantain and cassava, among others, have shot up astronomically, negatively affecting consumers.
CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE visited the Agbogbloshie market yesterday to access the situation and most traders complained bitterly about the astronomical prices.
Margaret Quartey, a maize seller, explained that a bag of maize which used to sell between GH¢700 and GH¢800 just before Christmas, was currently selling between GH¢140 and GH¢180.
According to her, this is the first time that the price of maize had shot up by such unreasonable margin since she started her trade about 28 years ago.
“Previously, maize was the cheapest cereal in the country. A lot of traders from our neighboring countries trooped here to purchase some of our stocks. It is shocking that things have changed within the twinkle of an eye.”
She said the development could be attributed to the recent increment in fuel prices.
“Transportation costs from Agbogbloshie to the villages where these are produced have increased. We go as far as Sunyani, Yenchi, Kintampo and Kumasi to buy these maize. The problem is so worrying that at times you just feel like staying at home,” she noted.
She hinted that the inability of the rains to set in this year as expected had caused panic among farmers, hence their refusal to sell their maize.
“They want to sell their stocks when the commodity is in sharp demand. When we started this business we were buying a full bag of maize between GH¢30 and GH¢50 but now one needs to have additional money in order to be able to do this business.”
According to her, an ‘olonka’ of maize is now selling between GH¢3 and GH¢3.5 instead of GH¢1.5 and GH¢ 1.8 previously.
“If nothing is done about the fuel prices and the subsequent increase in the prices of staples, most traders would be forced to forgo their businesses and resort to other businesses at home since they would not find the additional capital.
At the main market, an ‘olonka’ of gari is now selling at between GH¢2.8 and GH¢3.8 based on nice colours and taste.
A bag of rice is also selling between GH¢73 and GH¢75 instead of between GH¢64 and GH¢65 previously depending on the various brands.
Four tubers of yam are now selling between GH¢12 and GH¢15. A 25-litre of Obaapa cooking oil is currently selling at GH¢69 instead of GH¢63 previously.
The prices of tomatoes, pepper, onions and okro and salted fish have also increased.
Source: Daily Guide