Report: Western North tops as the most expensive region

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Economics Foodstuff Hikes

A report released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) showed that in February 2024, the Western North region was the most expensive of the ten selected food items.

foodstuffsThe region has the highest median rank and is ranked six times in the top three regions for the selected food items.

The food items are bread, beans, yam, noodles, cooking oil, tomato paste, milk, beef, iodated salt, and imported rice.

The findings revealed that unprocessed local food items such as fresh tomatoes, yam, and garden eggs experienced a higher percentage change in prices over the period compared to processed local foods Ga Kenkey, fried plantains with beans, and smoked herrings.

Speaking at the launch of the report in Accra, Mr Simon Tichutab Onilimor, Data Scientist, GSS, said the data was collected on 307 items from the 16 regions.

On methodology, the units of measurement of selected food items were standardised to either kilogram or litre, depending on how they were measured.

Mr Onilimor said the report showed that the median price per kg of beef in the Ahafo region GHS80.00 was more than three times the median price in the Upper East GHS25.00, and more than twice the median price in the Northern region GHS33.45.

Ahafo region has the highest median price of GHS 45.00 per kg of bread, which is about four times the median price in Volta region GHS11.11, and about three times the prices in Upper East GHS 15.68 and Eastern GHS15.15 regions.

The median price per litre of cooking oil was highest in the Oti region at GHS40.00, twice more than the median price in the Savannah region GHS18.00, the region with the lowest median price.

He said the Greater Accra Region had the highest median price GHS 22.00 per kg of imported rice, which is about 27 per cent higher than the national average GHS17.20.

Milk per litre, the report revealed, had the least median price variability across regions, with the median price ranging between GHS43.75 for Volta and GHS53.82 for Bono East.

Seven regions have the same median price per kg of tomato paste GHS35.71, but there is about GHS 12.00 difference between the median price and the highest recorded price in Ahafo, GHS 47.62.

He said the implications of the findings for consumer decision-making were that purchasing choices could be guided by the knowledge that food prices varied substantially by outlet.

Dr Faustina Frempong-Ainguah, Deputy Government Statistician, said the report was the second in a series of reports on food price variability.

The maiden report, “Food Price Variability Across Regions in Ghana, 2023,” highlighted the need for regular assessment of regional price variability to support policymaking at the regional level.

She said the report was user-centred and would be used to benefit the country in terms of proper planning.

GNA

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