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Regional report: Scarcity of groundnut oil hits Bolgatanga

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Sat, 19 Jun 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Upper East:

With the Upper East Region being a hub of groundnut farming, one would assume that groundnut oil would be in abundance and cheap, but the reverse is unfortunately the situation, groundnut oil is scarce.

Ghanaweb's Upper East Regional correspondent, Sarah Dubure, hit the Bolgatanga market to find out more about the situation.

A groundnut oil seller, who is also into the production of the oil, Bintu Ali attributed the development to the fact that the price of groundnuts witnessed a massive increment over the past three months.

Madam Bintu explained that the price of a sack of groundnuts was initially GHC500 but it shot up to GHC700 over the last three months.

"First, we used to buy at GHC500 now that they added, the thing is up to GHC700. It is very expensive now, so we are not able to make the oil plenty the way we used to," she said.

She noted that the large Voltic bottle filled with groundnut oil, was sold at GHC7 but it is now sold at GC15.

She added that retailers always throw them into a state of pressure,

when they rush to their houses whiles the production is ongoing.

"It is not easy. A lot of the customers always come, wait for us to finish and they will buy and go and sell. The pressure is too much, now there is no oil," she lamented.

She told Ghanaweb that the procedure required in extracting the oil is cumbersome; they have to wake up as early as 5:00 am, to start the process so that they can finish in time.

"You wake up early dawn send it to the grinding mill, after grinding, you come back and then heat water. Add small salt, you stir it like you are stirring banku. You stir it to the extent that the oil will come out. Sometimes it will come and it won't be plain, you have to put it back on fire, add small water and it will boil for sometime, till the oil is plain," she explained.

Another groundnut oil seller, madam Samira Mohamed lamented that the oil has become scarce.

As of the time Ghanaweb visited, she did not have any available, as her suppliers told her that groundnuts are expensive, hence their inability to produce the oil.

Ghanaweb also interacted with some groundnut farmers to find out what exactly caused the low yield.

A groundnut farmer, Mr. Moses Abindau, observed that the rains came late, and fell rather heavily at a time that the groundnuts were at the flowering stage.

Mr. Abindau explained that the heavy rains during the flowering period was the cause of the acute shortage of groundnuts because the more the flowers on a groundnut plant, the more groundnuts it will produce.

According to him, the heavy rains washed off the groundnut flowers on most farms, hence, the low harvest.

Another groundnut farmer, Mr. Robert Aduko Atuah, intimated that farmers did not get a good harvest due to the intensity of the rains last year.

"It was because of the heavy rains. You know, groundnuts like this, it doesn't like too much rain. So last year, most of us, we farmed a lot, but because of the heavy rains, we lost our groundnuts very seriously". He recalled.

He however said in previous years, they harvested as much as 30 bags of groundnuts, but last year, they could not even get mere two bags.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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