Food prices shoot up; Banku worse affected

Balls of Banku

Balls of Banku

Food prices in Ghana have shot up significantly between October 2011 and March 2013.

A report released by Food Security Ghana puts the average hikes at 73 per cent.

Banku which is an indigenous meal prepared with maize saw a sharp increase from 0.50 pesewas to two cedis over the period, representing over 300 per cent increase, the report said.

“The price of Potato Chips (1 Plate) increased by 120% with prices rising from GHS 5.00 in October 2011 to GHS 11.00 in March 2013. Similarly the price of Fufu (1 Portion) increased from GHS 1.00 to GHS 2.00 representing an increase of 100%.

“Both Fufu and Soup (1 Plate) and Long Grain Non-Perfumed Rice (400gms) increased by 80% with price rises of GHS 5.00 to GHS 9.00 and GHS 1.00 to GHS 1.80 respectively,” the report said.

The report in all sampled 19 meals from Ghana’s food basket.

The increases come at a time when inflation rate has been at a single digit for most part.

The report further questions government’s sincerity in the struggle to ensure food security in the country.

Some food vendors who spoke to Joy News’ Fred Smith confirmed the hikes in food prices.

“We were buying banku at 50 pesewas but now it is one cedi. If you are holding one cedi you can’t buy banku with fish,” one of the vendors lamented.

Another also said she had to maintain the prices of the food but reduce the quantity of the food.

A member of Parliament’s Food and Agriculture Committee Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto who had earlier warned about a possible food crisis told Joy News he is not surprised at the report.

He said he expects the situation to worsen if government does not take remedial measures to arrest the performance of agriculture in the country’s economy.