The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana has warned that food prices may continue to soar if government does not intervene.
According to the latest data from the Ghana Statistical Service, food inflation recorded a rate of 22.4% in March 2022, compared to 17.4% in February 2022.
According to the association, despite the impact of the Russia –Ukraine war on the global food value chain, the current situation being faced by farmers also reflects a failure of agricultural policies under the Akufo-Addo Administration, particularly the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Programme.
Speaking on The Big Issue on Citi TV, the Programmes Officer of the association, Bismark Owusu Nortey said this was expected, as the association had earlier sounded the alarm.
“The hikes in food prices we are recording now can be traced back to 2021. In 2021, we drew the government’s attention to the challenges we were facing with food production. Around May last year, we struggled with access to fertilizer. At the time, we got the 25kg for GH¢48.00. We wanted to get government involved to see how we could adjust the prices. The prices were adjusted to GH¢23 for 25kg. Even with that, we struggled to get the fertilizers for the farmers. We sounded the alarm of a possible food shortage, but as usual, government challenged us and swept the matter under the carpet.”
He warned that the situation may worsen if government continues to “sit unconcerned”.
He called on government to implement policies that will avert the situation and ensure a boost in production of food this year.
“The bad news I have is that the situation might worsen. The factors we pointed out last year have multiplied now. If nothing is done about the situation, the prices of food may skyrocket by the close of the year.”
“Prices of the fertilizers have gone up this year, twice the price last year. Prices of weedicides keep rising too. Our estimation for the production of an acre of maize last year was around GH¢1,700. As of March this year, we did the estimation for the same acre, and we were looking at somewhere around GH¢3,000. The difference is almost about 100%. Who will bear this cost? It definitely cannot be the farmer. It will be pushed down to the consumer, that is, if government does not intervene,” he added.