Flagbearer aspirant for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Kwabena Duffuor says he will ensure that the National Food Buffer Stock Company Limited operates in all sixteen regions to cater for food and security in the country should he become president.
According to him, late President John Atta-Mills envisioned the company to have branches in all regions so it could easily buy food crops from farmers during bumper harvest to address post-harvest losses and provide a ready market for farmers.
Addressing party members in Koforidua on his four-day campaign tour in the Eastern Region, he said the government did not understand the Buffer stock concept hence their struggle to maintain the company which resulted in food scarcity and translated into the skyrocketing food prices in the country.
“We left office shortly after establishing the National Buffer stock company so we only have one office located in Accra. We planned to build offices in every region to provide a market for our farmers. When traveling you see farmers on the roadside looking for buyers. If their foodstuffs are not bought, it goes to waste. So farmers in this country continue to suffer.”
“We will make sure we build a National Buffer Stock office in every region when we come to power. How licenses are issued for the purchase of cocoa. That is what we are going to do with Buffer stock. We will buy all the food for storage,” he said.
The former Governor of the Central Bank explained that had the NPP established branches across all regions, it would resort to converting the premises of ministries into a market center at the peak of high food inflation last year.
“Recently NPP transported foodstuffs to Ministries to sell. Is the ministry a market? Clearly, they don’t understand the Buffer stock concept we introduced,” he added.
On the back of this, Dr Duffour assured delegates that regardless of the extent of damage caused to the economy by the ruling party under his leadership there would be a turnaround.
He added that he had a track record of implementing policies that led to single-digit inflation, sustainable economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction therefore when given the nod to lead the NDC to victory in 2024, he will transform the economy.
“We have done it before during the late Atta Mills era we inherited a terrible economy but by the grace of God and the fact that NDC had competent people, the economy was turned around .so be patient. Regardless of the state, Akufo-Addo leaves the economy, we will turn it around.”
“They have borrowed all over the world . They know how to secure loans but they don’t know how to pay. Now they are begging. This is a shame. They are going round begging,” he added.