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BusinessPrices of gari go up due to cassava shortage

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Prices of gari go up due to cassava shortage

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The gari market in Koforidua is grappling with a severe cassava shortage, causing prices to soar sharply.

This development has sent shockwaves through the industry, leaving gari traders struggling to stay afloat.

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According to a market survey by the Ghana News Agency in the second quarter of 2024, the scarcity of cassava led to a substantial price hike last month, resulting in poor sales.

The reduced supply of cassava is primarily attributed to farmers shifting their focus to other crops like garden eggs and okra.

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Ms. Comfort Boateng, a gari trader, reported a slowdown in sales from April to June, attributing it to this price hike.

She noted that many cassava farmers had switched to cultivating garden eggs and okra instead.

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“We are in the season of garden eggs and okra cultivation, so most cassava farmers are now farming garden eggs and okra.”  “This has made the supply of gari reduce leading to price increment,” She said. 

As a result of dwindling cassava supplies, the price of gari has significantly increased. For instance, the price of a 20kg blue bucket rose from GH¢38 in May to GH¢45 in June.

Similarly, the price per kilogram of gari (olonka) surged from GH¢35 to GH¢40, and a margarine cup now costs GH¢6.00, up from GH¢5.00.

Madam Abena Mansah, a gari processor, lamented the rising costs of production, especially firewood used for frying milled cassava.

She emphasized the need for government support, such as subsidizing farming equipment and supplies, to sustain cassava production and stabilize gari prices.

Gari, a staple food made from cassava, has been widely consumed in Ghana and beyond for its affordability and ease of preparation.

It is favored by students, households, and institutions like prisons for its nutritional value, being rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals according to research by Adunga Bayata of the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre.

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