Agric ministry sets up PFJ market in Kumasi

Three centres have been set-up at Kumasi to operationalise the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Market in the Ashanti Region.

They are the main market at the Jubilee Park, Suame Roundabout and Bantama market.

Various food produce including plantain, local rice, carrot, lettuce and cucumber were displayed for sale.

The initiative was by the Regional Department of Agriculture in the Ashanti Region to replicate the National PFJ Market which was launched in Accra about a month ago.

On November 11, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) commenced the sale of food stuff at its premises in Accra under an initiative dubbed, PFJ Market.

The move, which is a pilot project under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), was meant to mitigate the impact of rising food prices on real incomes of civil and local government workers.

According to the ministry, the initiative was also part of measures to bring attention to the availability and affordability of food products in the country.

The move saw scores of public sector workers, within the ministries enclave, rush to MoFA’s premises to purchase plantain.

Others also moved to the Efua Sutherland Park where different types of rice were on display for sale.

Mr Tanko Bagbara, head of the Public Relations Unit of MoFA, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, said the open market was one of the interventions the ministry was employing to curtail rising food prices.

Additionally, he noted that the move was to ensure that produce from farms scattered across the country were made available at the various markets to consumers.

Mr Bagbara said the open market idea was developed by the minister, following a tour of farms in five regions where he observed that the farmers were unable to transport large quantities of foodstuffs to the market.

The Head of Public Relations stated that the open market event would be scaled-up in the coming weeks after assessment of its success.

He said the ministry, as part of the market organisation, would cart foodstuffs from the farms to the markets in Accra.

“The minster took the decision to launch an open market after he observed during his trips to five regions, including Western North and Central, that there were enough food from the farms but transportation to the various markets had been a problem.

“This open market is one of the interventions by the ministry to ensure food supply is enhanced and ensure a reduction in prices,” he added.

Mr Bagbara said the ministry had developed a bill that sought to mandate the Grains Development Authority to establish warehouses for the storage of procured food and ensure regular supply of food.

He noted that the ministry had also placed a ban on the export of foodstuffs to neighbouring countries to prevent shortage.

One of the consumers, Anita Kyei, commended the ministry for initiating the farmers market, adding that the move would help deal with the soaring food prices which were taking all their income.


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