Provide Subsidies to Staple Crop farmers before end of COVID-19 – ASEPA to Govt.

Agricultural Policy Analyst at Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Oscar Komla Bedzrah, has called on government to provide some form of subsidies for staple crop farmers in the country before the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said in a statement on Friday copied to Ghananewsonline.com.gh, that “Many Ghanaian farmers are engaged in production of staple food crops including maize, rice, wheat, millet and sorghum, among others” and that “Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Ghanaians are farmers according to a 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 the government, specifically the agriculture ministry and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture to institute the 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 produce on 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 hopes and trusts that our sector minister, Dr. Osei Akoto considers this call and act in the interest of Ghanian farmers,” he added

Read ASEPA’s full statement below:

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

Many Ghanaian farmers are engaged in
production of staple food crops including maize, rice, wheat, millet and sorghum amongst others.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Ghanaians are
farmers according to a 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 the 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 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 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 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.

  1. 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 sharp increase in 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
0249938890

Cc.
Minister of Agriculture
Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture

Minister of Finance
Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance
All Media Houses .

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