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21.04.2008 Business & Finance

‘Give GFDC Warehouses To Private Operators'

By Samuel Nuamah - newtimesonline.com

DR Kwame Amoako Tuffuor, Executive Chairman of the Ghana School Feeding Programme, has urged the government to engage private sector operators to rehabilitate and manage warehouses of the defunct Ghana Food Distribution Corporation (GFDC), as a means of ensuring national food security.

'The idea is to rotate the sale of old crops in the warehouses and replace them with new ones; surplus grains can either be sold locally to bring prices within reason, or exported in allowable quantities,' he said.

Dr Tuffuor was sharing his views with the Ghanaian Times on Food prices on the international market and the measures Ghana must take to ensure food security.

He said what was necessary now was for the government to convert the GFDC into a private sector operation.

'This means private sector people getting into warehousing, having people trained to manage food in warehouses, especially food with long shelf life like corn, rice, sorghum, soya beans and groundnuts,' he said.

He recalled that after September 11, 1972, when the GFDC was established, there was abundance of food and the country had the incentives to produce more beans and corn because there was a market for it.

However, he said the government at a certain period decided to export the surplus grains and used the income from that for other national purposes; thereafter, GFDC could not function and had since collapsed.

Dr Tuffuor said people from Burkina Faso come to buy the country's corn at Techiman, go back and stock it and bring it back later during the off season to sell it here because of lack of proper warehouses.

'Until we have surplus foods that we can go and pinpoint the warehouses in each region, where they are stocked, we have not as yet tackled food security,' he said.

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