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Ato Forson Bemoans High Food Prices, Attributes it to Govt’s Failure

Member of parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency has charged the government of Ghana for its poor management of the economy which has directly affected the prices of food items, despite its flagship PFJ initiative.

The Minority Leader in Ghana’s parliament, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has bemoaned the high prices of food items on the market.

Delivering a speech in Parliament on June 11 while welcoming his colleagues from recess, he said food vendors have had to reduce the quantity of their portions to maintain affordable prices.

“Hon. Speaker, high food prices are not the only challenge facing Ghanaians but food shrinkflation, where food vendors maintain their prices but reduce the quantity or the size of their portions, is also the order of the day. I am sure those of you who have bought Ga Kenkey or Nkran dokon lately, (corn dough) will appreciate the food shrinkflation that I am talking about. Mr Speaker, times are very hard! Ghanaians are suffering!” He said.

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He cited a World Food Programme report from March 2024, which warned that over one million Ghanaians are at risk of food insecurity between now and August due to high food prices.

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He outlined certain food items and their rise in prices over a short period to buttress his assertion.

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“The price of a bucket of tomatoes which was sold at GHS75 at the beginning of this year, now sells at GHS180, an increase of 140%. The price of a crate of tomatoes increased by more than 360% between January and June this year when the price increased from GHS1,500 to GHS7,000,” he said.

He also added that, in just a week, onion prices have surged by nearly 100%, while kokonte (fermented corn flour) prices rose by 22.2% in only five months.

“In a matter of one week, the price of a sack of onions jumped from GHS600 to GHS1050, an increase of nearly 100%. 1 sack of kokonte which was sold for GHS900 in December 2023, now sells at GHS1,100. This means in just five months, the price of kokonte has gone up by 22.2%.” he added.

The Minority Leader also raised questions about the government’s flagship program – Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ). He demanded accountability for the billions of Ghana Cedis allocated to the initiative and its poor output.

“Mr Speaker, I am curious. What has happened to the billions of Ghana Cedis approved by this house for the government’s so-called flagship programme, planting for food and jobs? Where is the food? And where are the jobs? Were they planting for high food prices and joblessness? Mr Speaker, we are back! Trust us, the NDC minority caucus, to protect the interest of the people of Ghana,” he stated.

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