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24.04.2020 Agriculture

Provide Subsidies To Staple Crop Farmers Before End Of COVID-19---ASEPA To Gov't

Provide Subsidies To Staple Crop Farmers Before End Of COVID-19---ASEPA To Gov't
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Agricultural Policy Analyst at Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mr. Oscar Komla Bedzra has called on the government to provide some form of subsidies for staple crop farmers before the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Mr. Bedzra in a statement copied to ModernGhana, “Many Ghanaian farmers are engaged in the production of staple food crops including maize, rice, wheat, millet and sorghum amongst others” adding that “Sixty-eight percent(68%) of Ghanaians are farmers according to research by the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2018 (FAO, 2018).”

He noted that “The food chain has witnessed increased demand for many food items including rice, maize, and other staple food commodities in the Ghanaian market. Panic buying was witnessed in many Ghanaian markets, especially areas under partial lockdown as directed by the President. It was observed that prices of most staple food commodities including cassava products (Gari), rice, yam, and other food products rose sharply in the wake of the panic buying.”

In view of this, ASEPA is urging government, specifically the agriculture ministry and Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture to institute necessary measures to provide “farmers ranging from the input suppliers, processors as well as distributors, most especially farmers that produce on large scale” with “subsidies (determined by the sector ministry) to cushion their farming activities and enable them to produce on a large scale after

COVID-19 as part of government’s efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on food

security.”

“These steps would go a long way to ensure food security in Ghana, stabilise the price of

staple foods on the Ghanaian markets and contribute to reviving the economy as ASEPA

hope and trust that our sector minister, Dr. Osei Akoto considers this call and act in the interest

of Ghanian farmers.” – He added

Read the full statement:

ASEPA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE SUBSIDIES FOR STAPLE CROP FARMERS BEFORE END OF PANDEMIC

Many Ghanaian farmers are engaged in the production of staple food crops including maize, rice, wheat, millet, and sorghum amongst others. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Ghanaians are farmers according to research by the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2018 (FAO, 2018).

The food chain has witnessed increased demand for many food items including rice, maize, and other staple food commodities in the Ghanaian market. Panic buying was witnessed in many Ghanaian markets, especially areas under partial lockdown as directed by the President.

It was observed that prices of most staple food commodities including cassava products (Gari), rice, yam, and other food products rose sharply in the wake of panic buying. In view of that, Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) wish to make the following recommendations to the government of Ghana, specifically the agriculture ministry as well as the Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture that, by the end of the Coronavirus pandemic;

1. Farmers ranging from the input suppliers, processors as well as distributors, most especially farmers that produce on large scale be provided subsidies (determined by the sector ministry) to cushion their farming activities and enable them to produce on large scale after COVID-19 as part of government’s efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on food security.

2. Besides maize buffer stocks made available. Farmers again be provided subsidies to safeguard the shortage of maize on our Ghanaian markets after the pandemic since the fall armyworm also proves to be a maize shortage factor. According to my research, fall armyworm can cause as high as fifty-three(53%) maize loss if not controlled.

3. The government announce a relief package in the form of subsidies to farmers with much attention on rice. This will increase interest in rice farming to be able to reduce dependency on rice importation since there was a sharp increase in the prices of rice.

ASEPA calls on the Agriculture Minister, his ministry as well as his parliamentary select committee to consider these basic steps targeted at reducing food shortage after COVID-19 as this promises to reduce pressure on food commodities and extend Ghana’s efforts to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2 and 3).

These steps would go a long way to ensure food security in Ghana, stabilise the price of staple foods on the Ghanaian markets and contribute to reviving the economy as ASEPA hope and trust that our sector minister, Dr. Osei Akoto considers this call and act in the interest of Ghanian farmers.

This one too of Coronavirus will pass as I entreat Ghanaians to stay safe.

Signed:

Oscar Komla Bedzra

Agric Policy Analyst- ASEPA

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