Subsistence farming is still the primary basis of the domestic economy, with nearly 60% of the work force employed in agriculture. Although there are retail stores in all towns and main trading centers, most retail trade, particularly of food products, is still carried on in local markets, mainly by women. Larger wholesale and retail outlets (including supermarkets) are primarily located in Accra. The overseas marketing of primary agricultural products is effected through governmental marketing boards, which use trading companies and cooperatives as agents to purchase commodities from the producers. A value added tax of 12.5% applies to all consumer goods and services. An excise tax applies for certain products such as cigarettes and alcohol.
Normal business hours are from 8 AM to noon and 2 to 4:30 or 5 PM , Monday through Friday; some companies also open on Saturday morning. Banks are open from 8:30 AM to 2 PM , Monday through Thursday, and to 3 PM on Friday. English is widely spoken.