Prices of foodstuffs at the Garu market in the Upper East Region have increased after the Christmas and New Year celebrations, affecting incomes of traders and reducing the purchasing power of consumers.
The market looked deserted with some stalls empty even on a market day when the Ghana News Agency visited to find out the prices of goods after the festivities.
Ms. Fausia Dasmani, a retailer who sells tomatoes, onions, and pepper, said a basin of tomatoes goes for GHS100.00 but that had increased to GHS 120.00.
Five to six pieces that were sold at GHS1.00 have now reduced to four pieces for the same price and six bulbs of onions which were GHS1.00 presently sells at 4 for GHS1.00.
According to her, the festive season sales dropped drastically, affecting their profit margins and causing some traders to incur losses.
Ms. Dasmani decried the alarming rate at which tomatoes were getting rotten due to lack of market.
She said though she had devised a way of reducing the prices of the vegetables she sold to maintain her customers and the quality of her goods, her profit margin had significantly reduced.
Miss Stella Bukari, who sells beans at the market, said she used to buy a basin of beans for GHS 250.00 from the farm gates but that had increased to GHS 300.00.
She said, because of the increasing prices, a bowl of beans, that is cowpea, which was sold at GHS 16.00 in December, currently cost GHS 20.00 per bowl.
Madam Martha Kumi, who sells green pepper, garden eggs, local rice, and groundnuts, said the prices of some fresh vegetables had reduced because they were currently being harvested and demand was low.
“I used to sell a bowl of green pepper for GHS 1.50, but it is now 50 pesewas, while a basin of garden eggs which was GHS 50.00 is now GHS 25.00.”
She said a bowl of groundnut which was 17 Ghana cedis was presently being sold at GHS 18.00 while a bowl of local rice was going for GHS 10.00 and GHS 12.00.
Madam Kumi attributed the price hikes to poor harvest due to the floods that destroyed many farms last September.
She, therefore, appealed to the government to support traders in the Garu area with loans to enable them to diversify and engage in farming to increase their income and boost their businesses.
Miss Hawa Yakubu who sells yam said its price had not changed.
“It still sells at GHS 5.00 per tuber and because it is perishable. We cannot afford to keep it for long. Despite transportation charges we incur to bring them to the market, we have to sell them fast.”