The president of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) Awal Wepia Addo says the cedi’s current weakness has made the lives of farmers miserable, as it has led to increments in the price of inputs.
Currently, the cedi is sold at more than GH¢10 to a dollar.
“It will surprise you that our crop budget for an acre of maize which used to be around GH¢1,700 in 2021 has jumped to an unbelievable GH¢5,000 for this planting season. Sadly, the cedi’s poor performance coupled with high fuel prices is pushing prices further up daily.”
“Farmers have been left with little or no choice but to either underproduce or seek alternative livelihoods since farming has become a catastrophe in Ghana. The result is low production coupled with high prices of the food we are witnessing in the markets,” he stated.
Calling for ad-hoc and sustainable measures to solve the inherent challenges faced by farmers in Ghana, Mr. Addo said President Akufo-Addo’s recent pronouncement that government intends to facilitate the carting of food from farm gates to market centres is a clear example of “plain misunderstanding and non-appreciation of the enormity of the problems we are confronted with”.
According to him, a proper diagnosis of the situation would reveal to the government that it is not the greed or profiteering nature of traders causing the high food prices, but rather the ever-increasing high cost of production which is forcing farmers and other traders to transfer these costs to consumers so as to make up for their production costs.
“Providing fuel coupons or facilitating the movement of this product will not reduce food prices or solve the problems. The problems are enormous, and government needs to look at an all-inclusive approach to mitigating them. We, therefore, call for an emergency stakeholder meeting to review the implementation strategy of the various government initiatives, which are clearly not responding sufficiently to the country’s needs,” he stated.
The PFAG president was speaking at the launch of Road Safety Tip Flyers for road users to aid in the smooth transportation of agricultural produce along major highways in Ghana.
The road safety tip flyers
Mr. Addo said the development of the flyers is a testament to the commitment of PFAG to foster a relationship between all actors to ensure adequate food is available for all.
“Indeed, when PFAG collaborated with the Ghana Police Service to organise an awareness creation workshop last year in Tamale, many might have thought it was one of the usual exercises in which the expected outcomes are not followed through. Therefore, it gives me so much joy that the PFAG and Ghana Police Service have been able to work together effectively to ensure the development of these flyers for improved movement of goods across major highways in Ghana,” he stated.
He described the flyers as very necessary, considering the unpleasant experiences that road users share regarding the attitude of some police personnel on the road, saying: “While it is worth noting that the police have their role and mandate to ensure law and order, and they have some excellent personnel who execute their mandate with high levels of professionalism and integrity, the excesses of some of their personnel in deliberately delaying, frustrating and extorting monies from road users is very unfortunate”.
He cited countless stories of truck drivers carrying perishable produce such as tomatoes, onions, yam and other vegetables who have been unduly stopped by police for unnecessary checks – requesting unnecessary documents, seeking unnecessary information in an attempt to extort monies from them.
“Failure of these drivers to surrender monies to them results in the confiscation of these goods for long periods, sometimes resulting in their spoilage by the time they are released,” he stated.
Source: Business and Financial Times