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Coronavirus: Agric Minister downplays the need for controlled pricing of goods in markets

The Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto says there is no need for controlled pricing of goods on the market following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ghana.

There have been fears that the disease in Ghana, coupled with its related restrictions in the country could lead to food insecurity, inflation and shortages.

The Agric Minister, however, at a press briefing on Thursday noted that the government has put in enough measures to ensure that the prices of items in the markets are cheap and not regulated.

He said, “I think that an open pricing system that this government is following shows the kind of confidence that we have that we’ll be able to supply food to the markets for the consumers at very low and reasonable prices and this is what is happening. I don’t think anyone can complain that food in this country is expensive.”

“There is absolutely no need to control prices. The market is working. The farmers are working. The millers are now going to be supported fully to work and add to their capacity. We have far-reaching plans to import rice mills in their small capacities to distribute across the country to rice-producing communities so they themselves can mill the rice before it goes onto the traders. So these are measures the government has taken and we are confident that there is no need to control any price.”

Ghana has enough food

At the same briefing, Dr. Afriyie Akoto indicated that the country will not experience any shortage of food since there is enough food in-store to feed Ghanaians during these difficult times.

Although he didn’t state the period Ghana’s stock could last for, he said farmers in the country continue to produce enough, with the support of the government.

“In the few days before the lockdown, the instant hike in prices, and people falling over themselves in the market to get stocks to their homes. I did say after the lockdown that there is no need for it because we have plenty of food. The success of planting for food and jobs have been so instant that h the problem that we are facing in this country since 2018 has been how do we manage the surplus because, on-farm the Ghanaian farmer has proven beyond doubt that with the right support from the government, they will deliver and they are delivering. They are providing surpluses which are increasing every year. That has been the in the last three years,” he said.

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