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Cassava production 17m tonnes of cassava produced last year

Shortage of cassava has been reported across the country prompting a sharp rise in the price.

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Shortage of cassava has been reported across the country prompting a sharp rise in the price. play

Shortage of cassava has been reported across the country prompting a sharp rise in the price.

(File Photo)

The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, has disclosed that 17 million metric tonnes of cassava was produced last year.

This, according to the minister, is more than what the country consumes. He noted that the country needs only 10 million metric tonnes to feed the population.

He made the disclosure in an interview with Accra based Citi FM to dispel claims that there is shortage of cassava on the market.

"This country as at last year produced17 million metric tonnes of cassava and we need just 10 million tonnes to feed the population," the minister said.

Shortage of cassava has been reported across the country prompting a sharp rise in the price.

A bag of 250 kilogram of cassava which used to sell for GHC 200 now sells at GHC 600 and beyond in Accra. Same kilos which used to sell for GHC20 in parts of the Brong Ahafo region now sells at GHC 100 .

According to Alhassan, the problem is wider than the ministry's mandate.

"There are transport issues, there are infrastructure issues," he said. "So you know that it is a distribution problem which is wider than the mandate of the ministry."

"There are remoteness of production areas in relation to markets..."These are all things that are outside the mandate of the ministry, he said.

Meanwhile the General Agriculture Workers Union has blamed harsh weather conditions for the shortage.

Edward Kareweh, General Secretary of GAWU noted that Ghana largely depends on nature to farm instead of developing good irrigation systems.

“Depending on nature to a large extent could be disadvantageous and that is why every effort is made to control nature. We ought to have done a massive irrigation across the country. In the past we thought that irrigation was for the north only, we cannot think like that anymore,” he said.

“Now that the vagaries of the weather are depleting our stock and the volume of food produced in the country, we believe that our drive for a nationwide irrigation policy to help avert future food shortage for our country would be implemented,” he added.

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