Experts in the Agricultural industry have indicated that they foresee food shortages during the early months of year 2022, due to current challenges with farming in the country.
The Experts have therefore, urged government to store enough food this year.
The General Agricultural Workers Union has already noted how farmers struggle to get yields, as raining in some farming communities, has destroyed large farmlands.
Another reason assigned for the low yields, which has already led to price hikes on the market, is the exportation of some food products to neighbouring countries.
The latter reason was highlighted by the CEO of the Chamber of Agric, Anthony Morrison, who was confident in his prediction that, “for the early part of next year, we will have challenges with our food systems, so we will need to import quite more.”
“What government needs to do is to make sure that when this year’s produce is ready, we should provide a mop-up strategy, so that we can store enough food across the country.”
But for now, food prices are already high on the market, and the Peasant Farmers Association says the buyers will continue to bear the brunt unless government intervenes.
Head of advocacy, Charles Nyaaba revealed that he is particularly unhappy that the government did not heed their warning about the possibility of price hikes and food shortage when they mentioned it early this year.
Mr Nyaaba recounts how the association requested government to halt the exportation of food to neighbouring countries, a suggestion he claims was rejected by the National Food Buffer Company.
“There was an influx of people from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Niger who came to buy the small quantities of food that we had.”
That’s not all his worry. He adds, “whiles this was happening, and we drew government’s attention to look at the issue, the National Food Buffer Stock Company made us understand that there was no cause for alarm and that they have enough stock that will be released during the lean season to cater for the shortages.’’
But he did not see that happen.
When the farmers started complaining, Mr Nyaaba said, “I could not locate any of the buffer stock shops that they were talking about. When we challenged, they said they knew what they were talking about.”
Therefore, Mr Nyaaba said he was “surprised that things were getting worse, with farmers complaining and yet those buffer stock were not actually released onto the market.”
So let’s talk solutions. CEO of the Chamber of Agric, Anthony Morrison, offers what he says is a sustainable recommendation, which he believes if government works with, will avert a similar situation next year.
‘There should not be any allowance for export of any food. If someone needs to export food out of the country for any reason, that must come with approval from the Ministry.
He explains, “this is because some of the challenges we are having in the increase in food produce, are because people have hoarded food.
“If you go to the borderlines in the Northern, Bono and Volta areas, you will see many warehouses that have sprung up and whose stuff were taken out of the country without any permission. We do not have any security system. No one is stopped. And no one signs for it.”
What is even more surprising is that “the foodstuffs are being stored in those border towns and are being imported back into the country and sold to us at very high prices.”
He concludes, “that’s why we need to stop exportation of food items out of the country to stop that”.
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