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Minority blames high food prices on ‘failed’ Planting for Food and Jobs policy

The Minority in Parliament has said the failure of government’s policies is largely to blame for the current high prices of food items.

Food inflation is among the major contributors to Ghana’s current decades-high inflation rate.

The government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme was expected to make food items cheaper and readily available.

Minority blames high food prices on 'failed' Planting for Food and Jobs policy
Dr Seidu Jassaw is a deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Food and Agriculture Committee

But Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Food and Agriculture Committee, Dr Seidu Jassaw, says the programme has failed to achieve the desired result.

“You cannot say Planting for Food and Jobs is succeeding when you do not see the food when the logistics for allocating the food and shifting it from its production centres to where it is actually needed have not been achieved. What Planting for Food and Jobs does is to increase the usage of fertiliser in production.

“Ghanaians are living through price hikes day in and day out to the point that it is unbearable. So, that increased production that we’ve discussed, where has the produce gone to? I can tell you we have not managed the logistics of handling the food well and we have the structural policy wrongly,” he told JoyNews’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Kwaku Asante.

Dr Seidu Jassaw claimed the average farmer is worse off now and may be forced to take their yields outside the country.

He also said the national food buffer stock company has been crippled.

“You would notice that the National Food Buffer Stock has been reduced to buying food items and supplying school feeding. Buffer Stock and human resources there is worth more than that.”

“This minister has done nothing on Buffer Stock. In fact, he’s stifled Buffer Stock of resources. You are producing the food, you don’t buy it. Farmers are rational people so they sell it where the market is available… and under our arrangements as ECOWAS and so on you cannot stop people from moving goods and services,” he added.

The Wa East Member of Parliament said the Agric Minister’s response to the soaring food prices is simply not workable.

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