Food prices will drop but not immediately – Quartey

Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, Professor Peter Quartey has projected food prices in Ghana to drop but not immediately.

He explained that the rising inflation in the country is due to two main factors, external and domestic. With the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, he said prices of food commodities and other items will certainly go up because of the effect on import.

The warfare, he belives, is not ending anytime soon.

On the domestic front, Prof Qyartey explained that food production will go up due to the raining season, a situation that will result in the drop of prices of food items but that will not be immediate.

“Where I sit, I think the inflation is coming from two sources, external that is imported inflation and domestics inflation. with the imported inflation, because we tend to import certain food items as well as other commodities, we will certainly have to import more.

The Russian-Ukraine war the effect of Covid on import and supply chain etc, it is not going to go away immediately. So certainly, we will likely to see increases in inflation.

“On the domestic front, since we import oil, we import a lot of items as well as produce some locally. Food production will pick but not immediately because of the rainfed agriculture system that we have been having in our country therefore, as we experience rains, food production will pick up. So in the next couple of months we are likely to see some harvests which will minimize the effect on inflation,” he said on the News 360 on TV3 Monday May 16.

For his part, the Chief Operations Officer at Dalex Finance, Mr Joe Jackson said the rising food inflation in Ghana is gradually becoming a major concern in the country.

In his view, the country is heading to a period where people will be forced to skip meals because they cannot afford to pay for the high prices.

This, he said, would lead to a crisis.

Speaking on the News at 10 on TV3 Monday May 16 in relation to the increasing inflation rate, he said “One of the things you have to realize is that when you listen to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) they will tell you that the highest inflation occurred in the prices of food.

“That is why people are worried or thinking we may be heading to a crisis because the price of food, when it is going so high hit most vulnerable in the society very hard.

“The poor and vulnerable are going to be hit very hard and the fear is that we are going to a place where food prices are so high and people skipping meals because they can’t afford it.”

The General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), Mr Edward Kareweh, has also said Ghanaians should prepare for hunger this year if immediate steps are not taken by the government to invest in the agriculture sector of the economy,

In his view, there is a deliberate attempt to reduce agriculture output in Ghana due to the low investments in the sector.

Contributing to a discussion on the impact of the ongoing geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine on food supply in Ghana, Mr Kareweh said on TV3’s New day show with Johnnie Hughes on Monday May 16 that “As we speak, the food you are eating was not produced in 2022. There will be hunger, already there is hunger and the hunger will be more because I don’t foresee government getting money to support farmers to produce.”

He added “there is deliberate policy to reduce out put. When you refuse to invest what are you doing?”

He further said that Ghana does not have enough food available to feed the people for even one month without importing more food commodities.

The reality is that a lot of food items are imported into the country therefore, when upheavals and other economic challenges occur in those countries, automatically they become Ghana’s issues, Mr Kareweh added.

“The realty is that we do not have enough food in this country. The reality is that we import so much into this country. So if there is a problem in those country you import those problems,” he said.