Lovers of local delicacies have constantly touted the superiority of their favourite meal. But in an era of shrinking balls of Kenkey, how many are willing to spend extra for a ball?
Kenkey is a staple dish prepared with corn dough in the country. It is a very popular dish and is usually served with pepper sauce and fried fish.
However, the price of its main ingredient, maize, is soaring. Some kenkey sellers in Accra say a bag of the crop which sold at ¢220 last year, is now selling at ¢500.
This is affecting the purchasing power of consumers who are reeling from the sudden hike as vendors are forced to pass on the cost to them.
Market researchers Esoko has said its survey is showing an increase of more than 100%.
In a report by Joojo Cobbina, consumers and vendors in the kenkey food chain complained bitterly especially about the sustainability of the business.
“We’re suffering because of the high cost of maize,” said Grace, a kenkey vendor.
Last year, she took a firm decision to shrink the size of her balls of kenkey to be able to make a profit and stay afloat.
Even that, according to Grace, does not cut it anymore as she has now increased the price of a ball to Ghs2.
“I survey the market before setting a price. I used to sell my kenkey at Ghs1.50 but I made a loss so I decided to sell at Ghs2 per ball. What should I do business and make constant losses?” she quizzed.
Another vendor in Bukom, Aunty Odotso maintained her kenkey price at Ghs1 because she believes her target market are not do not have the financial power to purchase at a higher rate.
She, however, offsets the cost by reducing the size of each ball.
The concerns of these vendors and consumers resonate with many others across the country.
But Agriculture Minister Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto says the recent hikes in food prices will stabilise soon.
According to him, this current situation is not unusual especially at this time of the year.
“This year the major rains started a bit slow. In the minor season, we have had an ideal weather pattern. Therefore we expect that prices of supplies will be back to normal come November December January,” he told JoyNews.