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Inflation affects pepper “Mako” at Mallam Market


By: Jeremiah Nutsugah and Gloria Amoh.

In the middle of the Mallam Market in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, a lot is happening amidst a sunny day in a cacophony of buying and selling.

It’s a new day and the sun is shining, and women at the Mallam Market have concerns.

Persistent fluctuation in pepper prices when purchased at wholesale, citing inflation as a contributing factor. Both sellers and customers say the prices are very high, making it difficult for them to buy more compared to previous years.

In an interview with some sellers at the market, Aunty Bee, who sells foodstuffs, stated that pepper is seasonal, but currently, it is scarce. This scarcity has led to an increase in wholesale prices, affecting their ability to purchase and resulting in reduced customer purchases compared to previous years.

“Initially, a bag of pepper was priced at GHC 270 or GHC 300 when bought at wholesale. However, prices have now increased to GHC 400 and, in some
places, GHC 450, posing challenges for us the sellers.”

“The price of pepper is not stable nowadays, because when you go and buy it at an amount today and you go the next day the prices change and it is affecting our business. We also don’t have a particular price we sell at and it is making customers complain a lot.“

A seller, Ma Mercy, expressed dissatisfaction with the high prices of petrol, affecting their transportation costs. She mentioned that transportation costs have risen from around GHC 15 to almost GHC 40. Sometimes, drivers drop them off at the roadside, requiring additional expenses for “Kayayo” to carry goods to the market.

“I also plead with the government to reduce petrol prices, as the current situation is severely impacting their business.”

Following the sellers’ concerns, customers buying pepper also convey their dissatisfaction with the high prices., stating that “initially priced at GHC 1 and GHC 2, now I have to spend around GHC 10 for a satisfying quantity of pepper.”

One customer shared that, “the prices of foodstuffs nowadays is very high compared to the previous years, so I have also reduced the things I buy to cook especially pepper.

“The government should do something about the prices of things because we are suffering, we cannot purchase certain things we use to purchase easily at first.”

The other customer said, “I can’t be in my own country and be suffering the same time. The government should really reduce the price of petrol because it’s because those things that’s making the market women increase their prices for foodstuffs especially pepper.”

At the market, you will witness sellers scrambling for customers, in a competition dominated by loud noise and sometimes pandemonium.

You can hear the sound of machines grinding spices or pounding yams.
The air smells different in Mallam Market. There’s a mix of scent and sweet smells. Fresh fruits and vegetables make the air smell nice, while grains and pulses have their own earthy smell.

If you listen closely, you’ll hear music playing. You’ll hear preachers preaching with their instruments.

Children have a field day, they ran around and play while selling and buying continues unabated at the Mallam Market.

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