Wednesday, 06 July

Food prices high but there’s maize glut unlike in 2016 where Ghana fell on Niger for supplies – Dep. Agric minister

Business
Yaw Frimpong Addo ,Deputy Minister for Agric

 

The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo, has described as false, reports that there is food shortage in the country.

He said unlike in 2016 where there was a shortage of maize and Niger became a supplier of the staple to Ghana, the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs has reversed that trend.

He said there was a clear distinction between food availability and pricing, stressing that Ghanaians were misconstruing the high prices of some foodstuff to mean food shortage.

Mr Addo made the statement while addressing the media on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Techiman, Bono East Region, as part of the ministry’s six-day tour of five regions across the country.

He explained that his outfit's tour was informed by statements, especially in Accra and some big cities, that there was a food shortage in the country.

"Around this time of the year, food prices are high but, fortunately for Ghana, since 2016 till now, there has been high stock of maize", he noted.

According to him, about 270, 000 metric tonnes of maize were available in about ten (10) satellite markets in the Bono East Region.

However, Mr Addo sympathised with farmers on the practice where buyers decide to shortchange them by giving them any price for their produce.

"So, it is totally false for people to sit somewhere and say that there is maize or food shortage in Ghana," he stressed.

He gave the assurance that the current government will do everything possible to prevent hunger in the country.

The deputy minister used the chance to debunk statements in certain quarters that the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme of the Akufo-Addo administration has failed.

"In 2016, we used to see trucks loaded with sacks of maize from Niger come to Ghana because at the time, we were experiencing a shortage”.

“But ever since we started the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative in 2017 till now, records available at the Techiman maize market indicate that these same trucks from Niger come to buy maize and other foodstuffs from the Techiman market to Niger," he indicated.

This, he said, was very significant, "because we are now producing far in excess to sell to other African countries."

Consequently, Mr Addo admonished politicians to help reduce the political temperature in the country.

"If we don't have a very good political temperature in this country to allow farmers the space and peace of mind to go about their businesses, it will affect us all," he cautioned.

He was optimistic that when farmers begin to harvest the new maize, prices of maize will naturally reduce to the benefit of Ghanaians.

The deputy minister also visited cashew and cabbage farmers at Bonya.

According to the farmers, it was increasingly becoming difficult for them to find a market for their produce.

One of such farmers was Joshua Yaw Damashie, who lamented that he used to cultivate cabbage on a large scale "because I had buyers from Accra but due to transport issues there's a reduction in my cabbage cultivation."

He appealed to the government to continue subsidising the price of fertiliser.

The deputy minister and his team will wrap up their tour with visits to Ashanti and Eastern Regions.

 

Source: Classfmonline.com/cecil Mensah