Food shortage is far from us – MoFA

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has allayed fears of the public that Ghana faces a looming food shortage.

It said there was enough food available for the country and urged Ghanaians to ignore such predictions.

An official source at the Ministry, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency in a telephone interview on condition of anonymity, said the recent hikes in foodstuff prices was due to the Ministry’s inability to meet its production target and that such situations happened when demand outstripped supply.

The source said the Ministry was unable to produce much to meet its target as a result of a prolonged drought experienced in-between the cropping season.

“You know, in season, prices come down and out of season they go high and this year is not an exception, so what is contributing to this is partially a prolonged drought between the cropping season so our target hasn’t been achieved and to add insult to injury the neighbouring countries coming to mop-up our surpluses in terms of the grains is also very key,” it said.

“Now, I am up north here for a meeting and I can still see trucks loading maize from the Upper West and Upper East part of the country down to Accra, so we haven’t gotten to a point that we will experience food shortage in the country, no.”

“The Southern Belt is harvesting and soon Northern Ghana would be harvesting,” the source said.

There have been concerns about a possible food shortage in the country in recent times following surge in food prices.

The Peasant Farmers Association, early this week, predicted food shortage next year due to challenges with accessing fertilizers and exportation of some food products to neighbouring countries.

The source at MoFA said reports from regional directors of Upper East and Upper West indicated that the areas hardest hit by the recent floods were not the actual hub of production though a few farms had been affected.

It explained that areas such as Sisala, Lambusi, Wa East and Wa West, which were the food basket of the Upper West Region, together with the Upper East areas, had their crops doing well.

The source said the Ministry had, so far, completed 30 warehouses across the country at various locations, adding that the then Ministry of Special initiative Development also constructed about 50 warehouses, which had been taken over by MoFA.

“Work is ongoing to complete others to have enough storage spaces for our grains,” it said.

It said Government was also establishing a Grains Development Authority to ensure the country did not experience food shortage.

The source said the Authority, when in operation, would regulate the quantity of grains shipped out of the country.

“Months ago, there were complaints of the collapse of the poultry sector because there is no feed, so as a result the Ministry has taken steps to institute what we call the Grains Development Authority. First it has to go to Cabinet before it goes to Parliament for approval and this Authority will regulate the quantity of grains that will be exported, especially to neighbouring countries,” it said.

“The Ministry and the Ministry of Trade and Industry have also inaugurated a Soya Bean Committee to halt the exportation of soya bean to neighbouring countries to enable Ghana to attain self-sufficiency in terms of production to save the poultry industry.”

Source: GNA

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