Maize shortage: Kenkey sellers in Accra increase their prices

Maize shortage: Kenkey sellers in Accra increase their prices

- Kenkey sellers have shot up their prices

- The decision to increase prices follows an artificial shortage of maize

- A ball of kenkey is now selling for GH¢1.50 and GH¢2.00

Some kenkey sellers around the suburbs of Osu, Dansoman, Labone, Chorkor and so on, are now selling a ball of kenkey for GH¢1.50 and GH¢2.00. These kenkey sellers, according to a market survey report by Esoko, have attributed their hike in price to the shortage of maize across the country.

Speaking on Joy News, a maize seller revealed that an “olonka” of maize which hitherto was selling at 5 cedis is now going for 7 cedis. According to Agnes Lamptey, the hike in maize prices has had a trickle-down effect on the value chain of maize including Kenkey sellers.

Attributing the development to the outright purchase of the commodity by traders in Nigeria and Burkina Faso, Agnes lamented that traders like she has been left to mercies of demand and supply.

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The artificial hike in maize prices has also affected the local poultry industry as the Ghana Poultry Project says the price of local chicken has skyrocketed this festive season. Chicken is a main delicacy for Ghanaians but authorities of the Poultry Project say current developments in the poultry industry have left them no option but to increase prices.

Communications and Marketing Specialist for the Project – Asiwome Biekro – revealed on Joy News that there current shortage of maize and sorghum has left poultry farmers spend more in buying the limited available feed for their chicken.

“We have seen a shortage of maize in the market. What this means is that poultry farmers are spending more in feeding their chicken. When it happens this way, the cost of rearing them also shoots up. This is the main reason why we are to expect a shoot up in prices,” he revealed.

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According to him, a live broiler which hitherto was going for 45 cedis is now going for 55 to 60 cedis. A live layer which hitherto was selling at 50 cedis is now around 65 to 70 cedis, depending on your location of purchase.

The shortage of maize has been attributed to some major factors. The Ghana Agribusiness Chamber reveals that the situation is emanating from the commercial purchase of the grains by traders in Burkina Faso and Nigeria who are quoting huge prices for the basic commodity. Also, there has not been enough rainfall in the rural North. This, according to the Chamber, has delayed the cultivation and harvest of the basic crop.

Food commodity research body, ESOKO, has attributed these developments to an artificial shortage across the market centers as maize sellers try to hoard the limited available commodity to make profits of patrons who are in dire need of the product.

Meanwhile, the minister for Agriculture, has made some arrangements for a possible importation of the staple. This, according to the ministry, is to balance the effect of the artificial shortage across the market centers. This development has also brought the Planting for Food and Jobs under some criticism as many question its usefulness in these times of an artificial shortage.

This is not to say that there is food insecurity in the country. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), insists Ghana still remains the food basket in West Africa considering the various projects in the Agriculture value chain.


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