The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto has appealed to the general public to remain calm over the procurement of food as there was more than enough for the year.
According to him there was no need for anybody to stockpile food in the house, as marketing of food items were to continue uninterrupted.
“Government views with great concern, the sudden rush of food items and panic buying which has led to price hikes by traders,” he stated.
Addressing the media at a briefing organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, the minister said there was no cause for alarm as there was enough food in the system, stressing that “the restrictions would not affect its availability and distribution”.
He said it was important for the public to know that all shops and traders of food items could continue operating as stated by the President of the republic.
Furthermore, he noted that food crop, livestock and poultry farmers as well as fishermen were to continue the supply of their items to the shops and traders for sale.
Dr Afriyie-Akoto said as part of the comprehensive arrangement to ensure that there were no shortages, transporters of food items from the districts to the urban centres would continue the distribution of food items.
“The police and other security personnel manning the various entry and exit barriers mounted in strategic locations are to take note and grant passage to cargo vehicles without undue hindrance,” he emphasised.
In view of these, he said traders were to refrain from unnecessarily increasing prices of food items as there was not going to be shortage of their supplies.
Touching on other areas of the food value chain, he explained that with the onset of rains in most parts of the country farmers were to continue their farming activities, adding that, “Input suppliers and retailers are to continue distribution and sale of seeds, fertilisers, agrochemicals and farm implements to enable farmers continue their operations.”
He explained that transporting of farm inputs such as seeds, fertilisers agrochemicals, etc, poultry feed, fish feed, etc from Tema, Accra and other regional capitals to the districts and farming communities were to continue uninterrupted.
Dr Afriyie-Akoto said in line with the government’s flagship programme of Planting for Food and Jobs, government subsidy on fertiliser and seeds were to be adhered to by all agro dealers.
“Farmers are to note that government is still subsidising fertiliser and seeds by 50%,” he reiterated.
By Cliff Ekuful