Traders experience low sales ahead of Easter


Traders and some buyers in the Central Business District (CBD) of Accra have expressed concerns over price hikes as Easter festivities approached.

TradersThe concerns follow the recent increase in general prices of goods and services, which experts have attributed to the depreciation of the cedi against other major currencies and the global increase in fuel prices.

At the Tema Station, Madam Freda Kponyo, a rice trader in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said sales had been low since the outbreak of COVID-19 and getting worse.

She said the hike in prices of goods had made the market less busy.

“A big occasion like Easter is approaching and you don’t even see people buying here. I can’t project what will happen, but it is obvious we are not making sales. A tin (margarine) of rice which was about GHS 2.50 last year, is GHS 4 and “Olonka ” is now GHS 24” she said.

Mr Angelo Augustine, a customer, on Easter shopping, told the GNA that: “It is not easy; I entered the market with GH₵ 500 and more than half of the money is gone. I just bought a few things, and the money is about to finish.”

The situation was no different at the Okaishie Market where it was observed that trading activities seemed to be peaking on the fringes of the market, where prices of goods were said to be “manageable.”

Mrs Vivian Gyasi, a dealer of imported rice and cooking oil, said on the shoulders of the market, the prices were reduced a bit for the goods to move faster.

She lamented the absence of price regulatory mechanism, which she said was as a contributory factory to incessant price increase of commodities where a 25-litre of cooking oil, which was GH₵240 last year was now GH₵440.

Mrs Gyasi said retailers were in constant competition with some wholesalers, who had decided to increase prices of commodities and “so when the suppliers realise you are doing well and goods are moving fast, they won’t let you make more profit than them.”

“So, the government should check the factories and regulate the prices because those who buy from the factory also increase the prices before it gets to the retailers. sometimes they increase it more than it should be.”

Mr Emmanuel Akolgo, a dealer in live birds said the hike in commodity prices had affected the cost of feed adding that: “the farmers can’t even feed the fowls well, so we the sellers must feed them well to get good price for them.”

“We are hungry, and we can’t eat what we sell. Last year we sold the brown birds called “layers” at GH ₵30, it is now GH₵ 40 – GH ₵45. For the white ones, they are the “parent stock”. We sell them at GH₵130. It used to be GH₵100,” he said.

By Issah Mohammed/ Haruna Alhassan, GNA


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