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COVID-19: Food Prices Are Cheaper Than Before – Agric Minister Claims

Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has said food is now cheap in Ghana despite the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in the country.

In recent times, due to the outbreak, there have been complaints of hikes in prices of foodstuff due to the pandemic.

But commenting on the alleged price hikes at the Meet the Press session today, Thursday, April 23, 2020, Dr. Akoto said there are food surpluses in the system attributing the fete on government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

“The hike in food prices, I think we all recognize that only four years ago, a bunch of plantains, you had to spend GHS40 but now with GHS3 to GHS6, you can get a bunch of plantains. It shows you clearly that we have come to reduce prices of food even in the major cities like Accra where there is substantial rushes in the markets. Most families who could not afford one meal a day can now afford three meals a day because food is so cheap and we will continue to ensure that planting for food and jobs will deliver even more food to areas of consumption to makes lives very easy for families in consuming areas,” the Minister noted.

“In any case, we are talking about three million producers of farm produce, hundreds of thousands of traders, small and large, and in the market, you see the teeming numbers of market women and men. So how do you go about controlling prices? I think that an open pricing system that this government is following shows the kind of confidence that we have that we will able to supply food to the markets for consumers at a very reasonable price and this is what is happening. I don’t think anybody can complain in this country that that food is expensive,” the Minister added.

Ghana has enough food

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto also said Ghana has enough food in store despite the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana.

Although he didn’t state the period Ghana’s stock could last for, he said farmers in the country continue to produce enough, with the support of the government.

He said the country was producing in excess of its consumption capacity and that the challenge since 2018 has been how to manage the surpluses.

“In the few days before the lockdown, the instant hike in prices, and people falling over themselves in the market to get stocks to their homes. I did say after the lockdown that there is no need for it because we have plenty of food. The success of planting for food and jobs have been so instant that h the problem that we are facing in this country since 2018 has been how do we manage the surplus because, on-farm the Ghanaian farmer has proven beyond doubt that with the right support from the government, they will deliver and they are delivering. They are providing surpluses which are increasing every year. That has been the in the last three years,” Dr. Afriyie Akoto said.

GUTA warns of possible shortage of goods, price hikes over Coronavirus

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) had earlier raised alarm over the possible shortage of goods in Ghana by May 2020 following the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

According to GUTA, prices of goods in the country may also go up following the shortage of goods on the international market.

 

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