The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has admitted that food prices are increasing in Ghana.
He however said this is due to factors that are beyond his control, factors including the ongoing geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine which he said, affected the supply of fertilizer.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Wednesday March 23, he said, “Some of the bulkiest items you can carry around happen to be foodstuffs.
“So the cost of transportation to get the food from farm gate to the consumer has also gone gone up. So these two elements, I don’t have any control over. It is also not specific to agriculture in terms of the transportation.
“What I am not sure about is how the farmer is going to take it. Now people are talking about , 400, 500 even 600 cedis per bag when only two years ago it was 120.”
Earlier, the Head of Programme and Advocacy at the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) Dr Charles Nyaaba asked the government to review the fertilizer subsidy programme under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative to target smallholder farmers.
He said the farmers have been hit harder by the tension between Russia and Ukraine because the development is affecting the import of fertilizer.
Dr Nyaaba was speaking on the News@10 on TV3 Monday March 21 in relation to an announcement by the government the 16 flagship programmes are going to be looked at.
“You will realize that if you look at the support of the Planting for Food and Jobs, the major areas that farmers have benefited is the fertilizer subsidy programme. This fertilizer, we depend 100 per cent on importation. Because we are now having global prices it is hitting us hard.
“So I look for a situation where government rather will review and we target small holder farmers,” he told Martin Asiedu Darteh.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah announced that all the 16 flagship programmes of the government including the free senior high school (SHS) programme and the PFJ are up to be looked at.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the president wants the programmes to be protected and fully implemented to impact the lives of all Ghanaians.
“All the 16 flagship programmes are up to be looked at. The President has directed that the flagship programmes should be protected and fully implemented to ensure that the impact is achieved.
“However, he wants it done within the constraints of item number 2 which is the fiscal framework we are working with. If based on the caps that we are working with we will have to rescope a particular flagship program, we will do it and see how much we can achieve,” he told Accra-based Citi FM on Monday March 21.