This report examines accessibility, transport costs and food marketing in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Its purpose is to determine how road investment may influence the pattern of producer and consumer prices and the structure of food marketing in southern Ghana. An analysis of field data showed that the majority of food was initially sold at the farmer's house and at the local village market, travelling wholesalers being principally responsible for its onward movement to the urban market centres. Evidence was found of price discrimination in transport charges practised against the farmer who wished to take his own produce to urban markets. The study found that improvement of the surfaces of existing roads would have only a negligible impact on prices paid to the farmer. However, replacing a footpath by a vehicle track may have a beneficial impact to the farmer of some one hundred times more than improving the same length of a poor quality road surface to a good quality gravel road. Little evidence was found of a loss of produce through roads becoming impassable to vehicle traffic. Transport charges could account for only a small proportion of the wide differences in food market prices found throughout Ashanti Region. The major source of this variation is attributed to poor information and monopolistic marketing practices.
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J L Hine, J D N Riverson, E A Kwakye
Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)
Finances & Economics