The Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Owusu Afriyie Akoto says with regards to food security, maize production is the most important cereal crop cultivated across the country.

This according to him is because “it [maize] is the only crop that grows in the four corners of the country” and is also “a staple crop of most ethnic groups in this country.”

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto who appeared before the Appointments Committee on Friday disclosed that Ghana’s status on food security is stable.

According to the Minister-designate, there has been an increase in the production of maize ever since he assumed office in 2017.

“Before we came to office in 2017, the highest amount of production of maize in this country was 1.8 million metric tonnes in 2016.

“Since then, honourable Chairman, maize production in 2017 was 2 million metric tonnes. In 2018, it was 2.3 million metric tonnes and in 2019, 2.9 million metric tonnes.”

The Agriculture Minister-designate, however, indicated that the ministry failed to attain its projected value of 3.1 million metric tones in 2020.

He stated that maize production in 2020 was 1.9 million metric tonnes due to a massive drought in the southern parts of the country.

Dr. Afriyie Akoto further revealed that on the Ghanaian market, the present wholesale average price of 100kg of maize is GH₵172.39.

“If you look at 2019, for the same December, it was GH₵127.62. If you look at 2018, it was GH₵133.35. In 2017 it was GH₵92.96,” he added.

When asked by Ranking Member, Haruna Iddrisu, to justify the consistent increase in the price of maize, the Minister-designate attributed the increase to inflation.

“If you take a count of inflation, these are nominal figures that we track but to get the real prices you have to look at it in real terms,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Akoto Afriyie says the Agricultural Ministry currently contributes about 17 percent to the country’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).