Complaints by some consumers that the price of maize has shot up are “absurd”, a deputy Agric Minister, Sagri Bambangi, has said.

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According to him, the new prices are an incentive to farmers which should encourage them to produce more.

He said the current price of maize is a middle ground which serves the benefit of both consumers and farmers.

He further stated that the “middle class” cannot determine the price at which an important commodity like maize should be sold.

“I have heard a lot of complaints about the high cost of maize and I find some of the complaints a bit absurd because I am not too sure these farmers are making supernormal profits at these prices,” Mr. Bambangi said.

“Farmers of maize also invest a lot in the cost of acquiring inputs to produce the maize. Much as I sympathize with consumers and I will like them to get cheap products, we will also have to recognize that when farmers produce and the prices are too low they give away and they are unable to make progress.”

He added: “…I don’t think the middle class in Accra expected that after all our toil in the farms we will come and sell a 100kg of rice to them at ¢100.”

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The price of maize has shot up in recent months, with consumers often complaining about the high costs on the market.

However, the deputy Agric Minister said although the concerns of consumers were considered, farmers also had to be taken into account since they are the ones who invest in the maize crops.