Food prices are down but consumers are still overpaying due to middlemen – Agric Minister

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The Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr. Bryan Acheampong, says food prices in Ghana have drastically reduced within the last few months.

He attributes this reduction to the prudent measures implemented by the government which he says is yielding positive results.

Speaking to journalists in Accra on the sidelines of the Agric Fair at the premises of the Ministry, Dr. Acheampong noted that prices of food products have decreased, but consumers still pay high in some instances because of exercise profiteering by middlemen.

“We have been able to bring the price of maize down by 50%. And it is not just the maize. With regard to a lot of the cereals, the prices are dropping. Maize that used to sell at the same time last year at GH¢300 for 50kg bag now is GH¢148, the maximum that you get is GH¢150 which means that there is a 50% drop in the price of maize.”

“But nobody is talking about it because you don’t see it translate into the price of a ball of kenkey. It means that there’s someone in the middle who is pocketing the profit,” he stated.

Meanwhile, new evidence shows that weak competition may be causing unfair food prices for consumers in Ghana, as retail prices rise significantly faster than wholesale prices.

Food products such as onions, gari, and sorghum are flagged as key markets of concern; national authorities are urged to investigate and act.

Experts in Ghana and globally are warning that some market actors are making record profits in this time of a food crisis, at the expense of overcharged consumers and underpaid farmers.

A new tool created by consumer organizations has highlighted the risk of unfair food prices in Ghana, driven by insufficient competition in national and global food supply chains.

The Fair Food Price Monitor warns how rising prices for Ghanaian consumers are potentially being caused not only by factors such as increased fuel costs and currency depreciation, but also by dominant market actors taking advantage of this crisis to increase prices excessively.

The tool, developed by Consumers International (representing consumers worldwide) and Ghanaian organization Consumer Advocacy Centre (based at Laweh University College), uses data from sources such as the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to track the relationship between food prices at different stages of the supply chain in Ghana and to highlight where investigation and action may be needed from the government.

Fair Food Price Monitor Ghana November

Source: Citinewsroom

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