APRIL 9, 2024

Experts Forecast Food Import Inflation as Burkina Faso and Others Exit ECOWAS

Experts are forecasting a potential rise in import-related inflation for food commodities originating from Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali following their departure from the ECOWAS bloc.According to Global Credit Rating (GCR), a subsidiary of Moody’s, the exit from ECOWAS is expected to generate inflationary pressures in the domestic markets of these three countries, subsequently affecting the prices of food commodities imported into neighboring nations like Ghana.

GCR suggests that limitations on cross-border movement of people and trade within these countries may encourage commodity hoarding, leading to price surges.Furthermore, the withdrawal of these three countries is anticipated to further impede economic progress in the Sahel region, where they are already ranked among the world's poorest nations.For Ghana, which heavily relies on imports from Burkina Faso, the impact could be significant. Currently, Ghana imports 90 percent of its fresh tomatoes from Burkina Faso, with a yearly demand exceeding 800,000 metric tonnes, as per data from the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL).

Trade statistics from the Ghana Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association indicate that the country imports approximately US$400 million worth of tomatoes from Burkina Faso annually. Additionally, Burkina Faso and Mali collectively contribute to nearly 70 percent of Ghana's livestock imports.

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