There’s no food shortage in Ghana; greedy traders exploiting the system’ – Agric Minister
The Food and Agriculture minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto continually reminds Ghanaians that there is abundant food in Ghana as he always get to the ground to access the true state of happenings. He made it clear that he always gets the first hand experience but not told hence, can say authoritatively that the food inflation being experienced in Ghana is not as a result of food Shortage but attributes that to overpricing by traders.
Among other factors, increase in the cost of production, high transportation cost, and excessive pricing by traders can be largely attributed to the food inflation the country is currently experiencing.
He has this to say on citi TV. “I am coming from the field. Every year I go around the 16 regions to observe for myself and formulate realistic policies. I just came back 8 days ago from a tour of five regions. Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono, Bono East, and Eastern Region which are the main forest belts.”
“Per my checks and interactions with stakeholders, there is enough food out there. I went with all the 13 directors at the headquarters. Our directors were deployed to major markets in these regions. Data from nine major markets in the Ashanti and Bono East regions revealed that the volume of maize in the last 10 days was 27,000 metric tonnes. There is enough food in the system.”
Speaking on Face to Face on Citi TV , the Food and Agriculture Minister said “inflation in the country is mainly due to three factors, namely the high cost of food production and high transportation costs, which are the implications of the Russian-Ukraine war and the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Overpricing by traders was the third factor he mentioned.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto explained that “some unknown persons are exploiting the system.” He explained the third factor by insisting the exploit by traders is the cause.
Adding up, he said “Techiman is about 2 and a half hour drive from Kumasi. When I went to the market, tomatoes were sold at GH¢150. If we take into account the cost of transportation and add another GH¢30, it is supposed to sell at a little over GH¢180 in Kumasi. But there are traders who sell tomatoes in Kumasi for GH¢ 250 to GH¢300.”
“Somebody is making supernormal profits,” he added.
If is true that traders are the ones exploiting the market, well, there is bad news for you as the minister tipped that the ministry together with some stakeholders will investigate to happenings.
“Together with the Transport Minister, we are engaging transport unions. In the meantime, the Ministry of Gender has had a meeting with 90 market queens from around the country.”
The continuous increase in transport prices across the country has pushed national year-on-year food inflation for May 2022 to 30.1 percent compared to 26.6 percent recorded in April.
This was captured in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the Ghana Statistical Service.
Do you think the minister is right by saying there’s no Food Shortage in Ghana, and that greedy traders are to be blame?
Let’s get interactive in the comment section below.
Credit: Citi news
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