The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, has warned against a possible food shortage during the harvest season in November and December this year, if small holder farmers are not supported amid the threat of COVID-19.
According to the Association, the disruption in seed and fertilizer supply, coupled with a decline in demand for foodstuffs from neighboring countries due the closure of the borders are badly affecting the planting season.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Programmes Officer with the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Bismarck Owusu Nortey, appealed to government to set up a special fund to help small holder farmers who heavily contribute to the country’s food basket.
“Now that the planting season has started, a lot of farmers will need a lot of money to purchase inputs. Mind you, government is still running the fertilizer subsidy program for the Planting for Food and Jobs program where it is subsidizing 50% of the fertilizer. Now even with that subsidy component, if you look at the actual value that is about GHS 80 which is quite high,” he said.
“So if government in a way as they are providing stimulus packages to other businesses, can find a way to see how they can even increase the subsidy component, so that instead of 50% it probably hovers around 75%, the prices of the input of fertilizer will come down. Once it comes down, the farmers will be able to afford and produce more because with the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, the movement of farmers has become somehow restricted because inasmuch as they move to their farms some of them are a bit cautious,” he added.
Food prices to keep rising due to impact of COVID-19 – Esoko
Earlier this week, commodity price survey service company, Esoko, announced that the prices of food items will continue to rise in the coming weeks due to the impact of COVID-19 on supply and production of some commodities.
This is premised on the fact that for the post lock down period, two of the major staple foodstuff, cassava and maize recorded increase in prices across some markets surveyed in the country.