The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong has disclosed that he will liaise with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to introduce its own agriculture based commodity price index before the end of the year, 2023.
Bryan Acheampong suggested that the current index being used by the Ghana Statistical Service to calculate food inflation is inaccurate because some of the food items used in the basket are not supposed to be there when it comes to the calculation of food inflation.
“This month, I’m going to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), they release the price index, so, we are also going to release our commodity price index because any time they come up with the consumer price index, people want to chase me out of my office saying I’m incompetent.”Bryan Acheampong
The minister meanwhile, addressed the high discrepancies in the cost of some food products in some regions, specifically Greater Accra and Ashanti. He thus, blamed the exorbitant cost of farm produce on middlemen.
“I’m producing farm gate price of Maize of 50KG at GHS200 in Tamale, but it gets to Accra and Kumasi and it is GHS800. It left agric. The middle men are the ones playing it. What I’m going to do going forward is to make sure that if the farm gate is GHS200, I make sure that we have that mirror of that farmgate price in Accra.
“We will control the distribution, bring the food from the farm gate close to Accra so that if the market queens come to take it, they will not add those exorbitant prices to it. We are putting systems in place that will reduce the effects of the middlemen.”Bryan Acheampong
A commodity price index is a fixed-weight index or average of selected commodity prices, which may be based on spot or futures prices.
Touching on the planting for food and job, Dr. Bryan Acheampong, noted that the programme is having the needed impact on food prices and said the PFJ remains the flagship programme for the Agriculture Sector and is set to receive the needed attention for expansion.
The minister averred that with a thorough understanding of the agriculture value chain actors, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is able to offer a better service which is more focussed and specific to the needs of the stakeholders.
Planting for Food and Job
Having expressed satisfaction with the performance and success chocked over these years, Dr. Bryan, however, believes there are still a lot more potential and retunes expected from PFJ. He thus, said the PFJ in the coming weeks will be in fully flight and more is expected in terms of results.
The minister indicated that while it may not be possible to achieve the target of reversing imports by 2024, MOFA will leave no stone unturned to significantly reduce the countries dependence on imports.
Dr Bryan disclosed that he has been having engagements structured to build consensus on charting pathways for achieving national targets of sustainable food security, promotion of exports and industrialisation. He further disclosed that the cross section of stakeholders engaged so far include value chain actors of strategic commodities such as rice, soya, maize, tomato, and poultry. By this end, he said it will lead to a drop in food inflation.