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Vegetables Dominate Top 20 Items with Highest Inflation in May

Of the20 items with the highest rate of inflation in May, as many as 8 were commonly consumed vegetables.

Latest data released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), shows that eight out of the 20 items with the highest inflation rates in May were vegetables. These vegetables have seen their prices increase at a much faster rate than other items, with inflation rates ranging from 37% to 56.3%, significantly above the national average of 23.1%.

The rising cost of vegetables has been a prominent issue in the news recently, and the GSS data confirms the rapid increase in their prices. Among the top eight vegetables with the highest inflation, garden eggs led with an inflation rate of 56.3%, more than double the national average. Cabbage followed with a rate of 49.2%, and carrots were fourth on the list with a rate of 44.4%.

Other vegetables on the list include green pepper at 41.5% (9th), dried red pepper at 40.9% (10th), tomatoes at 39.7% (12th), okro at 39.6% (13th), and onions at 37% (19th).

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The fact that all these vegetables are commonly used in Ghanaian households suggests that many people may be experiencing a higher inflation rate than the national average. These vegetables are not only staples in the Ghanaian diet but are also essential for a healthy lifestyle.

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The rapid increase in their prices is likely to force many people to reduce their consumption or avoid them entirely, which could have serious health and nutritional implications, especially for children. Additionally, there is a risk that some people might resort to using unwholesome vegetables due to their lower cost.

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Some experts attribute the high inflation rates for these vegetables to seasonal shortages. The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) however blamed the severe shortages and price hikes on the activities of illegal miners. According to Edward Kareweh, the General Secretary of GAWU, the main vegetable production hubs in the country are also areas heavily affected by illegal mining, known as galamsey. This has made it difficult for farmers to find space to cultivate crops, leading to reduced supply.

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Kareweh added that galamsey activities have resulted in soil erosion, water pollution, land destruction, heavy metal contamination, and soil infertility. He warned that the situation would worsen if appropriate measures are not taken.

It is anticipated that the inflation rates for these vegetables may start to decrease as the harvest season approaches. However, there are concerns that high input costs, poor road conditions, and associated high transportation costs may keep prices elevated until post-harvest losses, a common issue in many farming areas, become apparent.

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