Cedi depreciation: structural policies being worked on to change contributory factors – BoG
Adnan Adams Mohammed
As the local currency, the Cedi, is still experiencing the worst rate depreciation against the U.S dollar, the Bank of Ghana says it has started investing in structural policies aimed at changing Ghanaian behaviours that contribute to the devastating situation.
The Central Bank indicates that, the structural policies are mainly targeted at curbing or managing positively the Ghanaian appetite for foreign foods.
The Head of Financial Stability at Bank of Ghana explained that, with more and more Ghanaians developing a taste for foods that are not grown in the country or whose local productions are not enough to meet local demand, for instance rice, it puts a lot of pressure on the cedi as majority of the food consumed needs to be imported.
“When I was growing up, the staple food of the Ghanaian was corn, kenkey, cassava, plantain. Now what is the staple food of the Ghanaian? The staple food of the Ghanaians is rice”, Dr. Joseph France said during a TV discussion last week.
“So you change your appetite, and what your appetite has changed to, you import. Growing up we eat mangoes, we eat oranges, we eat pawpaw, now what do we have? We have apples, and you know, name all of them. All of these are imported.
“So you come up with structural policies and structural policies grind slowly to change the behavior of the Ghanaian to food that we have here that we grow here than putting pressure on the currency, because we import the apples, we import the berries and then all of them. We don’t plant them here, these are temperate fruits.
“We don’t eat the mangoes anymore. The mangoes get rotten, we don’t have the appetite for them. We have the appetite for rice and the rice we import them. We don’t grow as much as we can here, and our appetite has changed.”
“So these are some of the structural policies that will be put in place to gradually bring the Ghanaian around and also to help consume what we grow here and not what we have to use the limited foreign currency to import. So gradually we will get there,” he added.