In the last three months, there has been a hike in the price of pepper in Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region.
Due to the unpredictable rain patterns and the inability of farmers to sow early, the price of a bucket of pepper, which was formerly GHC300, has now increased to GHC600.
According to the market women, they used to order from Kumasi, but now they order from Tamale and Nangodi in the Nabdam District because those there are running out and aren’t as fresh.
They occasionally get pepper from the few farmers in Bolgatanga who were able to plant early.
Some traders in the Bolgatanga old market spoke to GhanaWeb‘s Upper East Regional Correspondent, Sarah Dubure about this development.
A trader, Madam Mary, lamented that the price of a bucket of pepper has been unusually stable at an increased price of GHC60 for far too long.
She added that the quantity of pepper that was sold for GHC1 was now sold for GHC2.
She noted that the green pepper is cheaper, but people prefer the red ones because they give soups and stews a nice red colour which is appealing.
“The green one is cheaper, a bucket is GHC20 while half a bucket is GHC10, but people prefer the red one because the red one is used for everything and makes soups and stews red,” she explained.
Madam Lamisi also lamented the hike in the prices of pepper and added that the situation has affected their sales.
“Those who work in the office usually buy in bowls or half, but many people always buy the tied ones in rubbers because there is no money. But when they buy in bowls, we make more money,” she disclosed.
Madam Lucy also told GhanaWeb that although the pepper business is no longer profitable, she must carry on selling pepper to maintain her customers and attract new ones.
“Look at this pepper. That is half a bucket, it is GHC30. I haven’t tied them yet. By the time l finish tying them, it will either amount to GHC30 or GHC20,” she said.
Madam Beatrice also complained that apart from the fact that it is expensive, it is also very perishable.
“You can go for the pepper, and the next day, you won’t like them. They will become watery and you will find it difficult to believe that it is the same pepper,” she told GhanaWeb.
She added that she had to dry previous supplies to prevent them from getting rot, with the hope that a good vendor might come around to buy them.