Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, has defended a statement attributed to him a few weeks ago in which he is alleged to have said that a bunch of plantain was retailing on the Ghanaian market for GH3.
According to the Minister, he was totally taken out of context in the sense that he was only making a general statement that food prices have reduced under the current administration compared to the previous administration because of the government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme. He said he did not say that the cost of a bunch of plantain was GHC3.
“The hike in food prices, I think we all recognize that only four years ago, a bunch of plantain, you had to spend GHC40 but now with GH3 to GHC6, you can get a bunch of plantain. It shows you clearly that we have come to reduce prices of food even in the major cities like Accra where there are substantial rushes in the markets,” the Minister had stated at a press briefing to address concerns of food price hikes at the onset of the partial lockdown against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister was trolled on social media for this statement which instantly went viral when he suggested that the success of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme had brought food prices to the barest minimum when the people were living the experience.
However, speaking to the media in Parliament on the issue, the Minister clarified that he never said the price of plantain at the time was GHC3 per bunch, and that he was seriously misunderstood. He added that he was not prepared to debate anyone on the issue given that it was the first time he was responding to the issue since it became the talk of the town in March this year.
“I was taken totally out of context and I am not prepared to go back there. If you look at the records, two years ago plantain was so low and nobody can deny that. We are the ones who keep statistics of prices in the market.
“We have over 300 officials of the Ministry in all major markets in the country and we have the records and I can show you that at one point a bunch of plantains was indeed GH4 here in Accra. But I was taken out of context and I am not ready to go on a wild goods chase,” Dr. Afriyie-Akoto said.
Source: Clement Akoloh || parliamentnews360.com