Bolgatanga, Dec. 7 GNA - The closure of the Yapei-Buipe bridges has raised prices of food items above normal as the cost of a crate of tomatoes in the Bolgatanga market shot up to GH¢ 700 from GH¢ 300.00 a fortnight ago.
A plastic bucket of fresh pepper with an equivalence of three ‘American’ measuring bowl went up to GH¢ 15.00 from GH¢ 10.00.
Vegetables transported from southern Ghana arrive in the market in bad state with most of them perishing.
Traders, mainly women at the Bolgatanga market have attributed the price escalation and state of deterioration of the produce to the closure of the Buipe-Yapei bridges, which inevitably had extended the distance to about twice the normal travelling times thereby delaying the arrival of vegetables to the market.
Five sizeable tomatoes which went for GH¢ 2.00 now sell at GH¢ 5.00 and according to a tomato retailer at the old Bolgatanga central market, Madam Laadi Nabda, the trucks conveying the tomatoes from Kumasi travelled through Wa in the Upper West region to Bolgatanga exposing the produce to the vagaries of the weather.
Madam Nabda said on market days, traders competed for tomatoes arriving from Burkina Faso with a crate sold at GH¢ 700.00.
At the new Bolgatanga market, vehicles expected to arrive with goods had not yet arrived according to some traders the Ghana News Agency spoke to as they waited in anticipation.
Mr Anaba Anabire, a guinea fowl seller, said patronage of live guinea fowls to the south had reduced while other travellers had resorted to smoking them to travel because the live ones get to the south dead.
Customers at selected shops and super markets that the GNA spoke to expressed rage and fear of possible price hikes during the yuletide since most of the goods and services were coming from the southern parts of the countrty.
They therefore called on the Ministry of Roads and Highways to expedite action on the repairs of the Buipe–Yapei Bridges.