The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, claims that there is no food shortage in Ghana. A report by the Ghana News Agency cites him reiterating that there is no food shortage in the country, despite rising food price and the fact that prices of food are some of the factors driving up inflation in the country, currently at 27.6 per cent.
“There is no food shortage in Ghana as is being speculated, the food situations in the regions are enough evidence, however we recognise that food is relatively expensive due to external factors,” he said.
The Minister said, increase in prices of food commodities were not because of Ghana government’s policies, but external factors such as increment of imported chemicals and other external factors beyond their control.
Addressing staff of MOFA and farmers in the Eastern Region as part of his official tour, he assured that despite the external factors beyond control, the government was instituting measures to bring down cost of production to mitigate effect on consumers.
“We are encouraging farmers to switch to organic fertilizers produced locally to reduce the impact of fertilizer shortage on food production and urged the far west to switch quickly to the use of compost.
On financing from the banks, Dr Afriyie Akoto hinted that the government was looking at alternatives to compel banks to lend a portion of their loans to farmers to improve production.
That, he said was to address farmers’ inability to acquire loans from the banks adding that several efforts to the banks had proved futile over the years and the banks preferred to give loans to businesspeople than farmers.
Mr Henry Crentsil, Eastern Regional Director of MOFA, earlier disclosed that despite the shortage of fertilizers and cost of production, there were indications of high yields due to the planting for food and jobs and other interventions.
He said for instance farmers adoption rate of improved seeds had shot up drastically particularly in maize and added that it was a sign of abundance of food and that the current soaring prices were seasonal.
The Minister, as part of the tour visited some commercial private farms including, the Legacy Crop Improvement Center (LCIC), a seed production hub at Otareso in the Akuapem North District and inspected the facility’s warehouse embedded with a code room.
The team proceeded to visit Ibu’s farms at Kwame Duodu.
The farms belonged to Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, a former best crop farmer in the West Akim Municipality. His farms comprised oil palm plantation, coconut plantation, pineapple plantation, maize plantation, cassava plantation, poultry, and livestock.
The Minister and his entourage continued to PINORA Limited, a fruit juice processing company in Asamankese, they proceeded to visit Sahmens Farms at Adeiso which belongs to a medical doctor, Dr Samuel Odor Mensah.
Sahmens farms were into coconut seedlings growing, snail farming, poultry, coconut oil palm processing and a development of local resort.
The team ended the tour at the Total Quality (TQ) farms owned by a female Caterer, at Akim Krodua, Adeiso in the Upper West Akim Municipality, and Dr Akoto was given a citation of appreciation.
Mrs Diana Nartey, Chief Executive Officer of TQ farms presented the citation to him for his immeasurable contribution to the growth, quality, stability, and progress of the economic and agricultural sector of the Republic of Ghana.
Dr Akoto expressed gratitude to TQ Farms for the citation.
He said his visit to some farms during his tour of the Regions observed that the country was well stocked of food and the data that were presented by the regional directorates of Agriculture, support the view that Ghana has a healthy robust agriculture system which have been sparked by Planting for Food and Jobs.