2022 budget : Measures put in place to ensure stability of food prices – Oppong Nkrumah

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Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said that several measures have been taken by the Akufo-Addo administration to ensure food prices stability in Ghana.

Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Nana Akua Aborampah Mensah ahead of the 2022 budget presentation on Wednesday November 17, he said “To the extent that storage and privatize production  and sale and market pricing  operate , you will find that even the prices  differ from market to market  though you may see a general trend. But I think you can also agree  that there is a lot that has been  done in terms of boosting  local food production  and expected to come along in the increase in  local food productions , stabilsation of the prices.

“ The warehousing system that can store  a lot of the products  so that you don’t have shortage  at some times and  abundance at another time  which will cause price flucatuations  and you have seen the number of warehouses  that have been put up across the country  and handed over to the various  assemblies or the agencies .

“So over time, we should expect that there will be some more stability  in that area  if we follow the trend of  things we are doing

“Generally, some more works need to be done  to ensure  that that stability that we are talking about , that stability doesn’t just come, it is about what are we doing to ensure that what we all want happen  and what we need to do is to ensure  that the warehousing system  works,  is to ensure that the support to the farmers  is not cut at any point in time , fertilizer etc.”

His comments come at a time traders in some markets in Accra have said the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Akoto Afriyie peddled falsehood when he said food prices were dropping.

The traders said the Minister lied because the prices of the commodities are rather increasing.

“The Minister is lying, is not true. If you want to know the truth he should enter into the market you will see what I am talking about, the margarine of beans is 6 cedis, first was 3 cedis. with red oil, it is 16 cedis, the yellow one is 20 cedis but first it was 15, now it is very expensive,” a trader at Kwasia Dwaso in Accra told TV3’s George Kwaning on Monday November 15.

Three other traders corroborated the claim that the prices of commodities are increasing. Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto had earlier rejected claims that food prices are escalating on the Ghanaian market.

The Agric Minister had said the statistics being compiled by the ministry on food prices do not support such claims.

Speaking at a media engagement in Accra over the weekend, he said prices of food commodities are rather dropping.

The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) has warned Ghanaians to brace themselves for increments in food prices in the country.

The General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh, said Ghana is in a harvest season but food prices are high on the market. He projected the prices to increase in the month of January and February

The General Secretary was reacting to a survey by 3FM’s Sunrise on food prices in the country.

The survey took us to Takoradi Market, Makola Market in Accra, Mallam Atta Market also in Accra, Tamale, and others, and in all these, traders complained of high food prices.

Mr. Kareweh told Sunrise Host, Alfred Ocansey on Thursday that “It is not what we say but what we do”.

“We need to move away from people telling us what it is rather than going to the grounds to look at what is there”.

He said “farmers never got fertilizer to put on their farms, how do you expect a bumper harvest? “We can’t proceed to the conclusion in the state that we are in now because prices are high everywhere”.

Mr. Kareweh warned that “we should expect the worst to happen in January, February onwards. Food prices would rocket further.

“We should expect prices to go up further. We are in a harvest season and so ordinarily, food prices should have been down. But we are not experiencing that”.

Reaxcting to some of these issues, Dr Akoto OPwusus Afriyie said “The statistics that  we compile in this ministry  do not support that . The size of kenkey  that you are talking about, we have had 5th year of  Planting for Food and Jobs, no  complain about the size of or reducing the size of kenkey this year.

“Why?  Because there was a drought last year in the southern part of this country, a very heavy drought both in the major and minor cities  in the forest in the southern part. People forget these things very easily and that affected suppliers.

“This year, fortunately, apart from the one month delay in the major rain season in the south, the rains have been excellent.

“ The naysayers were saying a few months ago, including the former President that there is going to be famine. In fact we are on the cusp of a major boom in food production. To the extent that, if you monitor the Tamale market for instance  prices are tumbling  and we are still at the beginning of the harvest.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana