Agric Minister Meets with Market Queens and Transporters of Foodstuffs

...to tackle Food Price Hikes in the Cities

Over the few months, there has been a dramatic increase in the prices of foodstuffs in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Koforidua, Tamale and all big towns in the Country.

Initially, some people were of the view that perhaps the government’s most touted agricultural flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) which over the years, has successfully provided enough food for the Country since its implementation, might have failed in this season, hence food shortage and its accompanied price hikes in the country.

However, a six (6) days working tour of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the food growing areas of the country revealed that there is enough foodstuffs in these production areas of the country, and that the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme has not failed as perceived by some Ghanaians, but rather, has achieved 100 percent of its objectives.

A further investigation by the Ministry and some Media Houses revealed that, there is very huge price disparities in the production areas and the major cities of the country. And that, there is some element of “Cartelism” in the pricing of these food items in some major markets in the cities.

To address this challenge, last week, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto and his colleague Ministers from Trade and Industries, Transport, Gender, and Office of the Special Advisor to the President, through an inter-ministrial committee held a Stakeholders meeting with the Market Queens, Traders, Cargo Transporters, and other actors along the food value chains to discuss measures that could help tackle the food pricing situation in the country.

The Market Queens/Women argued that, the food price hikes in the cities is as a result of the consistent increase in the transport charges of their products from the production areas to the cities.

The Cargo Transporters also made similar argument and pleaded with the government to do something about the fuel prices which to them, would go a long way to help stabilize the food prices in the markets.

The Committee assured the Market Women of government’s readiness and willingness to address their concerns.

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