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Inflation: Soaring Price of Tomatoes Causes a Stir on Social Media

Ranked 10th among 20 items with the highest inflation rates, fresh tomatoes have seen a substantial increase compared to the national inflation rate of 25%.

Tomato prices caused quite a stir on social media just around the time the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) revealed a staggering 46% inflation rate for the vegetable in its April Consumer Price Index report.

Ranked 10th among 20 items with the highest inflation rates, fresh tomatoes have seen a substantial increase compared to the national inflation rate of 25%.

Although still high, the tomato inflation rate dipped slightly from March’s 56.9%, offering a glimmer of hope that the worst may soon be over. However, this spike in tomato prices has significant implications, given that tomatoes constitute 40% of total household vegetable expenditure in Ghana.

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Even before the GSS released its April figures, complaints flooded social media platforms like Facebook, with users from various regions lamenting the exorbitant prices of tomatoes. Many shared photos depicting small quantities of tomatoes being sold at premium rates.

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The surge in tomato prices has been attributed to a supply shortage, exacerbated by the off-season period. Ghana has had to resort to importing tomatoes from neighboring Burkina Faso, which practices year-round tomato farming. Interestingly, the price of tomatoes can plummet by as much as half during periods of glut. Last August, farmers in Ziope in the Volta Region and other tomato-growing regions in Ghana were compelled to sell their produce at an 80% discount to avoid spoilage.

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One of the challenges contributing to this supply-demand imbalance is the difficulty in preserving fresh tomatoes over extended periods. This leads to price fluctuations, with prices dropping significantly during harvest seasons and soaring during off-season periods.

Tomatoes

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