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Dr Afriyie Akoto: Agric Minister asked to resign over food insecurity

May 18th 2022, 11:45:38 am

Ghana’s Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has been asked to resign by the Chamber of Agribusiness.

Agric Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto

The group is calling for the Minister’s resignation over the fears of a possible food insecurity.

According to the chamber, the agricultural sector has become worse off since Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto came into office.

Chief Executive of the chamber, Anthony Morrison, in an interview with Joy Business said data collected by industry players are contrary to the supposed achievements of the minister.

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The chamber says the Agric sector has been poor under the leadership of Dr. Afriyie-Akoto. They noted that all the sub-sectors under agriculture is struggling — putting farmers in difficult economic conditions.

The minister has been very poor in responding to the critical needs of the industry. More than 300 poultry farms have collapsed yet the poultry industry is the largest employer of the agricultural sector”, Mr. Morrison said.

He added that collaboration between key stakeholders in the agricultural sector and policy makers have been poor.

There has not been any engagement on the part of government with the private sector to find long term solutions to some of these issues. In fact, government owes suppliers of fertilisers, suppliers of seeds, food caterers and the National Food Buffer Stock Company. Ideally, we should have the agric minister stepping down because the data doesn’t support all the things he said he has been doing all these years,” he said.

Mr. Morrison added that the sector will become poorer and would consequently rely on imports if the Sector Minister stays in office.

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Projections are that we’re going to import close to one million metric tonnes of rice and over 300,000 metric tonnes of maize. We heard the President say we don’t import tomatoes but as we speak, we import over $150 million worth of tomatoes from Burkina Faso,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Operations Officer at Dalex Finance, Mr Joe Jackson has said food inflation is becoming a major problem in the country.

In his view, Ghana is heading to a period where people will be forced to skip meals because they cannot afford to pay for the high prices.

This, he said, would lead to a crisis.

That is why people are worried or thinking we may be heading to a crisis because the price of food, when it is going so high, hits the most vulnerable in the society very hard.

“The poor and vulnerable are going to be hit very hard and the fear is that we are going to a place where food prices are so high and people skipping meals because they can’t afford it.”

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Evans Effah

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