Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has dismissed reports indicating that the country is currently experiencing a food shortage.
Interacting with Evans Mensah on JoyNews’ PM Express, the Minister argued that what several players in the agric sector have bemoaned is low stock, an event he would not describe as food shortage.
“Not shortage. I wouldn’t call it shortage. Shortage of what? You have to define what is shortage. The stocks are low, prices are very high because stocks are low. No, it is not a shortage. I wouldn’t call it shortage.
“Shortage is where human beings in spite of what money you carry, can’t get food to buy. That is a shortage. If you say shortage, all these countries are now coming to Ghana to pick their grains. Why? Because there is a shortage in their countries that is why they had to go elsewhere. In Ghana, we are exporting so there cannot be a shortage.
“That is evidence enough and we have the statistics to show,” he said.
The reason for the low food supply, he explained is that in 2020, the country was hit by a drought that affected the level of crops such as maize produced. However, he stated that due to the timely intervention of farmers in the northern part, the country was cushioned and the effects were mitigated.
But in an earlier interview, Deputy Agric Minister, Yaw Frimpong Addo, admitted that what players in the sector have lamented about is food shortage and not food crisis.
“Food shortage, yes, but we don’t have food crisis. I’m telling you that during the planting season every year, it has been like this. Just that this year because of Covid-19 and fertilizer production, everything about fertilizer (things have been intense).”
According to the Peasant Farmers Association, farmers have been unable to access enough fertiliser, another reason for the low supply of food stuff in the market.
On the matter, Dr Afriyie Akoto explained that producers of fertiliser in the international market are facing challenges, hence, Ghana being an importer of fertiliser would bear the brunt of any shortfall.
“In the UK, Yara, which is one of the biggest producers is closing down some of its plants because there is not sufficient natural gas. Because of that, they are speculating there is fertilizer shortage in the UK. This is the United Kingdom, one of the most developed countries. So if they are facing shortage and we don’t even produce a bag of fertilizer in Ghana, we have to import, is it any wonder that Ghanaian farmers are facing shortage?” he quizzed.