Prices of most of the staple food commodities in the country are expected to drop in August due to the bumper harvest expected to be recorded this year, despite the outbreak of COVID-19.
Data from Esoko’s market survey point to significant price reductions in some commodities at the close of July. The price of cassava dropped by 7.91 percent to close the month at GH¢145.50 per bag, with wheat losing 6.90 percent to close at GH¢283.20 per bag.
Groundnut lost 3.19 percent to close at GH¢563.71 per bag, with gari also losing 1.95 percent to close at GH¢237.43 per bag. Cowpea white lost 1.83 percent to close at GH¢443.71 per bag, while maize lost 1.71 percent to close at GH¢164.29 per bag.
Some commodities however recorded gains, with tomato recording 6.55 percent to close the month at GH¢566.83 per crate and local rice also making a gain – of 2.97 percent to close at GH¢346.29 per bag.
The data, obtained by B&FT indicated that food commodities like maize, rice and yam increased in price at the Tamale market, with maize recording an increase from GH¢100 to GH¢120 for the white and GH¢140 for the yellow while a bag of rice increased from GH¢30 per 5kg to GH¢32 per 5kg, and three tubers of yam from GH¢5 to GH¢7.
Touching further on maize, the average price for a bag lost 1.71 percent to close the month at GH¢164.29 – with the highest price of GH¢223 recorded at Takoradi in the Western Region while the lowest price of GH¢110 was recorded at Bawku in the Upper East Region.
For local rice, the average price of a bag of local rice gained 2.97 percent to close the month at GH¢346.29. The highest price of GH¢440 was recorded at Dambai in the Oti Region, with the lowest price of GH¢265 being recorded at Tamale, the Northern Region capital.
A crate of tomato also gained 6.55 percent to close the month at GH¢566.83. The highest price of tomato, being GH¢900, was recorded in Accra and the lowest price of GH¢110.00 recorded in Kumasi. The commodity made a net gain because both the local ones and some volumes of the imported ones, which are of higher quality and expensive, were traded.
Some farmers in the Tamale Metropolis expressed gratitude for the intervention of subsidised fertiliser and other farm inputs that made production efficient. Also, they said, the rainfall pattern helped some of them to engage in off-season farming activities and expect more bumper harvests this year.
Some farmers who cultivated earlier are said to have commenced harvesting crops, while later production will harvest the crops by close of August. A visit to the two main markets in the Tamale Metropolis – Central and Aboabo Markets – saw an abundance of food crops displayed for sale. They also expressed good market for the produce, and expect to earn some income to invest in the business for it to grow.
Abibata Huzeima, a trader, said the price of vegetables has reduced and gained market due to advocacy for the consumption of vegetables to boost immune systems against COVID-19.