After the panic buying: Prices of food Items reduce at Kumasi Central Market
Prices of food related items, which went high over the weekend have returned to return normalcy at the Central Market in the Kumasi Metropolis, The Chronicle has gathered.
Forces of demand and supply were at play at the Central Market and the entire Central Business District of Kumasi, following the announcement by the president of a partial lockdown to keep the novel Coronavirus at bay.
As a result of the surge in demand against limited supply, prices of food items hit the roofs. During the period, five balls of tomatoes went for GH10.00, whilst pepper heaped in a big tin tomato container, which is known in our local parlance as ‘olonka’ were sold at GH15.00.
Three pieces of yam went for GH50.00 as bunch of plantain was pegged at GH100.00. The Chronicle gathered that the price of a fowl went for ninety cedis.
But in a working visit to the Kumasi Central Market today, this reporter noticed that prices of food items had plummeted with market women complaining about ‘slow business’. Speaking to a tomato seller, Mariam Dawud, she explained that business was quite good over the weekend, but has slumped after the lockdown came into force.
Dawud noted that an ‘olonka’ of tomato was being sold at GHC40.00 last weekend, but has now been reduced to GHC15.00.
According to her, they sold a bucket of tomato between GHC200.00 and GH300, but they are now selling the same bucket of tomatoes for GHC 150.00.
Asked about what led to the increase in price over the weekend, Dawud, explained that they buy their goods from neighboring Burkina Faso and this affects the price of the tomatoes. According to him, they buy a box of tomato from their Burkinabe counterparts at GHC1,200 .
A yam seller who gave her name as Mama expressed worry about slow pace of business, but acknowledged the weekend sales as tremendous.
Madam Vida Nsor, a rice seller at Sokoban bemoaned how she had to buy five balls of garden eggs over the weekend for GHC 10.00, but the same quantity is now going for just GHc5.00.
A fish seller, Madam Vida Owusu, expressed worry about the slow pace of business adding that business was quite good over the weekend.
Dr. George Asumadu , an economist and head of Accountancy at the Kumasi Technical University (KsTU) explained to The Chronicle that Ghanaians were monitoring the covid-19 pandemic across the world hence the they knew there could be a lockdown in Ghana as well.
When the president therefore announced the lockdown, they rushed and bought items because they thought they might not have the chance to come out during the period.
He continued that people had to stockpile food, water, meat and other essentials because the masses did not have ample time.
Asked why prices of food items have reduced after the panic buying, he explained that it is a natural phenomenon and that buyers cannot be moving freely to come and buy these farm products ,which are perishable – hence they have to reduce the prices else their products would not be patronised.
Dr. George Asumadu, however cautioned that if the partial lockdown is prolonged, it will lead to scarcity of food since Ghana is an import dependent country.
By Richard Owusu-Akyaw / www.thechronicle.com.gh