Prices of foodstuffs such as rice, beans and maize have increased significantly across market centres in the Upper East Region in the first quarter of 2021.
According to traders at the Bolgatanga foodstuff market, prices of foodstuff have increased drastically because farmers prefer to sell them directly to middlemen to make more profit than selling it to the market women.
The traders say a bag of maize which sold at GH¢230 cedis a week ago is now selling at 270 cedis, a bag of Guinea Corn which was being sold for GH¢300 cedis is now selling at GH¢320 cedis while a bag of beans and gari which sold for GH¢500 cedis and GH¢550, however, remain unchanged.
A bag of beans that used to go for 450 Ghana cedis is now selling at GH¢700 Ghana cedis. Soya beans are selling at 450 Ghana cedis instead of the usual GH¢300 Ghana cedis.
A bag of groundnuts depending on the size of the bag which used to go for GH¢120 and GH¢400 is now selling at GH¢250 and GH¢600 Ghana cedis.
The traders attributed the increasing cost of maize and guinea corn to the operation of a beer factory in neighbouring Burkina Faso whose middlemen come to the Bolgatanga market to buy maize and guinea corn to feed the factory.
Some market women at the Bolgatanga market gave further details about the prices of foodstuffs.
The market men and women advised farmers to consider restraining themselves from selling to people whose aim is to export which is contributing to the high cost of foodstuff prices which led to hardship.
The market men and women said the poor rainfall pattern coupled with the smuggling of fertilizer for the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative is likely to cause poor yield this year.
They appealed to the government to offer the Planting for Food and Jobs fertilizer directly to the farmers instead of dealing with agents.
Currently, the price of 50kg fertilizer in the open market in the Upper East region ranges between GH¢200 and GH¢220 cedis. The Planting for Food and Jobs fertilizer is currently in short supply.