Agricultural profiling and messaging service provider, Esoko Ghana, wants government to be proactive with value addition to agricultural produce beyond the warehousing policy to boost production.
As part of measures to achieve food security, the government is set to construct one warehouse in each district to help store excess agricultural produce.
This is to augment the increased agricultural production due to the impact of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme embarked upon by the NPP administration since 2017.
But the warehouses are yet to be completed, almost three years after the policy was launched.
At a time that Ghana has witnessed reduction in food prices due to the bumper harvest of some staples like maize, Esoko believes the warehouses could not delay any longer.
“The warehouses will be good for the cereals, grains and other food items that do not need special infrastructure or equipment to store them,” Content Manager for Esoko Ghana, Francis Danso Adjei said.
He however told Citi Business News the policy will yield little if efforts are not geared towards processing perishable foods such as some grains and vegetables.
“You can store up to a point, but after a certain point, the products have to be processed because they cannot be kept fresh throughout. Another thing we could look at is to consider how best we could use irrigation to help us to produce throughout the year, so that we do not rely on the rainy seasons; so that if you want fresh vegetables, throughout the year we can produce. There are also these greenhouses that we can use to cultivate some of these vegetables we are talking about.”
The government had set out an ambitious target to construct at least eighty warehouses in 2019.
The Minister of Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson, in an interview in March last year, was confident that fifty of such warehouses would have been achieved by August last year.
Areas to benefit from the warehousing policy include; Tamale, Yendi, Sandema, Salaga, Wa, Bole, Bamboi and Hohoe.
The rest are Techiman, Cape Coast, Dunkwa-on-Offin, Diaso, Mampong and Tepa.
Each of the 1,000-tonne capacity warehouses would contain an office accommodation, seed cleaners, solar dryers and weighing scales.