Prices of maize, rice, soya bean increase
The National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) has announced new farm gate minimum guaranteed prices for maize, paddy rice and Soya beans for the 2011 and 2012 crop seasons.
Mr Eric Osei-Owusu, Chief Executive Officer of NAFCO, who announced the new prices at a press briefing in Accra on Thursday, said a 100 kilogramme (KG) bag of maize would now have a minimum price value of GH¢45.00 instead of GH¢33.00 in the previous crop season.
He said an 85KG bag of paddy rice and 100KG bag of Soya bean would also be valued at GH¢35.00 and GH¢70.00 respectively as compared to their previous prices of GH¢30 and GH¢50 respectively.
Mr Osei-Owusu said the decision was arrived at in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and in consultation with the Board of Directors of NAFCO to protect the incomes of farmers.
He therefore urged farmers to take advantage of the directive and not to sell their produce below those prices to help ensure food security and sustained incomes for farmers.
He further urged Licenced Buying Companies (LBCs) to also abide by the directives to prevent undercutting of food prices from the farm gates, which led to major loss of capital of farmers.
Mr Osei-Owusu said it was critical that Ghana secured its food reserves during harvest seasons to prevent wastage.
“At this time the country produces about 1.8 metric tons of maize of which only about 1.4 metric tons are consumed. This leaves the country reserves of about 400 metric tons, which needs to be preserved to prevent wastage,” he said.
He indicated that the minimum guaranteed prices by NAFCO provided several advantages to farmers including the security of sustained prices even if market prices went down below the assured price, ensured quality of produce for export and also offered a 10 percent profit to farmers compared to what they got from LBC at the farm gate.