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Mahama says Ghana has world’s highest food inflation, 122% despite PF&J | GSS quotes 37%



Former President John Mahama has claimed Ghana has the highest food inflation in the world – 122%.

“Ghana is on record as having the highest food inflation in the world at 122%, notwithstanding the much-touted but grossly mismanaged Planting for Food and Jobs programme”, the 2020 flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) posted on Facebook on Friday, 4 November 2022.

“We are grappling with treasury bill rates of about 30% as local investors in our financial instruments suffer huge risks associated with lending to the government. We are also experiencing massive reverse capital flows as investors lose what is left of their confidence in our economy and pull out in droves”, he noted.

As of September this year, however, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) said the overall year-on-year food inflation was 37.8%.

Specifically, water was 58.9 per cent; milk, eggs and dairy products (49.0%), sugar, confectionery and desserts (48.0%), cereals and cereal products (46.0%), fruits and vegetable juices (45.2%), fish and other seafood (44.5%), fruits and nuts (44.4%), tea, mate and other plant products for infusion (40.0%), oils and fats (39.3%), live animals, meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals (38.8%).

Meanwhile, the ministry of food and agriculture will soon start selling farm produce to the public directly from kiosks to be mounted on its premises, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has announced.

Speaking at a meeting with farmers in Sefwi Wiaso in the Western North Region, the minister said “the ministry itself is going to take its own initiative.”

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“We are going to link up with the farmgate so that we make all the arrangements to ensure that we put up kiosks on our compounds at the ministry, specifically for food from here [Sefwi Wiaso] and we are going to give it a lot of publicity,” he explained.

In his recent national address on the economic crisis, President Nana Akufo-Addo told traders in the markets that he understands their working capital is being eaten away by the high cost of living but has urged them to be moderate in seeking profit amidst the current economic crisis.

“I know that the increasing cost of living is the number one concern for all of us. It is driven by fast-escalating fuel prices at the pumps, which is caused by high crude oil prices on the world market and our depreciated currency. I know that this is putting intolerable pressure on families and businesses. I know that people are being driven to make choices they should not have to make, and I know that it has led to the devaluation of capital of traders and painfully accumulated savings”, he said on Sunday night (30 October 2022).

He added: “Furthermore, the government is working to secure reliable and regular sources of affordable petroleum products for the Ghanaian market. It is expected that this arrangement, when successful, coupled with a stable currency will halt the escalation of fuel prices and bring relief to us all”.

“I hear from the market queens also that another factor fueling the high prices is the high margins that some traders are slapping on goods, for fear of future higher costs”.

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“I say to our traders: We are all in this together. Please let us be measured in the margins we seek”, the president appealed.

“I have great respect and admiration for the ingenuity and hard work of our traders, especially those that take on the distribution of foodstuffs around the country, and I would hesitate to join in calling them names. I do make a heartfelt appeal that we all keep an eye out for the greater good, and not try to make the utmost profits out of the current difficulties”, he begged.