The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) has bashed the Ministry of Food & Agriculture’s decision to have a farmers’ market at its premises to sell foodstuff to Ghanaians.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh said it was a bad idea to conceive the initiative without carefully evaluating the forces driving up the prices of foodstuff in the various markets.
He said the initiative is just a knee-jerk measure and its sustainability is highly in doubt because the entire procedure about the initiative is shredded in secrecy.
“What is their budget for this exercise? We are asking this because, at the beginning of the year, the Ministry indicated to all of us that they were reducing their support to farmers to produce. The subsidy on fertilizer and subsidized seed which was 36% in 2021 has been reduced to 15%. The volume of fertilizer that was subsidized last year has been cut down to only a quarter.”
“The quality of fertilizer that gets to the farmers is not the same as what they claim they subsidized. There are real challenges facing agricultural production in this country. The other part has to do with post-harvest losses, the Ministry has to work to ensure we minimize post-harvest losses. Records have that 60 percent of yam produced never reaches the table of the consumer.”
Mr. Karaweh advised a re-evaluation of the foodstuff supply chain and said that what the government needs to do is “to facilitate the movement of foodstuff from the rural areas to the urban areas” so they can be sold at reasonable prices.
The initiative, which commenced on Friday, November 11, was first revealed by the Agric Minister Dr. Owusu Akoto Afriyie during a meeting with farmers in Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region.