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Opinion | Feb 23, 2019

If Common Ghanaians Have Jobs And Eat Well, They Will Not Have Time For Politicians

Tomatoes festival but a food waste
Tomatoes festival but a food waste

Unlike Ghana and many African countries which prices of commodities and basic human needs, including food, prices are extremely high for common citizens, tons of food are wasted yearly in Europe and America, to the extent that the Parliament is working on new measures to cut food waste in the European Union by 50%.

I don’t think if the common Ghanaian after buying bread, could easily afford sugar and milk to make a common breakfast, many will not bother or care about any politician in the country. After all, almost all African politicians are inspired to enter politics just to amass wealth, not because of the poor, hungry and the unemployed.

Why should a common food which man needs to provide him energy to work be a problem in Ghana or in resources-rich Africa? They often say a bad farmer quarrels with his tools but Ghanaian farmers are not lazy. Some of the reasons food is expensive in Ghana is due to the problems of bringing food to the nearest markets. Bad roads and the lack of transportation are part of the problems.

When food is cheap in Europe, it is used as a festival. In the eastern town of Bunol, in Spain, more than thirty thousand pounds of tomatoes are used in ‘Tamatina Festival,’ which involves the hurling of tomatoes at each other in what is called the ‘world’s biggest food fight.’

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The festival doesn’t run short of tomatoes since trucks filled with tomatoes pour down the delicious fresh vegetables many people in poor countries around the world find it difficult to buy the number of tomatoes they are looking for. I feel very uncomfortable with this festival that I have never enjoyed it, yet many tourists from various destinations around the world, come to watch this tomatoes festival.

I can’t stop talking about my experience when writing articles. I have cooked without tomatoes or oil in Ghana because I couldn’t afford to buy them. On one occasion, I was preparing stew with water instead of oil, and a female neighbour wants to see what I was cooking. The best way to prevent her from seeing my ‘horrible’ stew is to carry the hot pot into my room.

We don’t need such festivals of food wasting in Ghana but that’s how food needs to be abundant and cheap in the country for everyone to eat with satisfaction. African countries, including Ghana, need leaders who really care about the citizens but not the type of leaders eager to be presidents just to fill their pockets.

Joel Savage
Joel Savage, © 2019

Joel Savage is a Ghanaian-Belgian journalist and author. The accredited press-card holder of the Flemish Journalists Association once contributed regularly to the features column of the Daily Graphic, The Mirror, Ghanaian Times and the Weekly Spectator. The writer currently lives in Belgium.,

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