The General Agricultural Workers Union is lamenting the government’s failure to implement policies that will ensure a boost in production of food this year.
According to the General Secretary of the Union, Edward Kareweh, the current situation being faced by farmers with fertilizer subsidy and high cost of production will lead to a low output this year and into the next year if the government does nothing about it.
“We are yet to see government policies that are seeking to ensure that we increase agricultural production for 2022 to be able to avert a similar situation in 2023.”
Despite the increasing cost of food and concerns over food insecurity in the country, the government has consistently insisted that its policies and interventions such as the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative has been extremely successful.
Food inflation has gone up to 22.4 percent as of March this year from a low of 5.4 percent in May last year.
Importation of rice has not come down even though government reports of an increase in rice production.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s position on the Food Security Index according to the EIU has fallen from 78th in 2016 to 82nd in 2021.
For some stakeholders, the decline reflects a failure of agricultural policies under the Akufo-Addo Administration.
While the government has consistently touted the progress made in the agriculture sector due to its interventions, issues such as a lack of access to poultry feed, fertilizer, and rising food prices, which is reflected in Ghana’s high food inflation, have got stakeholders in the sector concerned.
The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) has for some time now opined that Ghana is far from being secure in food production despite the progress made in the agriculture sector under this government.
Edward Kareweh, tells Citi Business News that although the government recently restricted the exportation of maize and soyabeans as one of the ways to check shortage of the commodities in the country, it still has not outlined long term policies to check the situation and this will lead to a low production output this year and beyond.
He explained, “The current policy which was implemented before the current planting season was that they’re reducing fertilizer subsidy to 15%. That alone means that farmers will have to cough more money to be able to buy fertilizer. This already points to low output because farmers will have to cut down their acreage for farming because the total cost of production has gone up. This also means that farmers will not be able to apply fertilizer to the quantity that they ought to to and that will also mean that the yield per acre will fall.”
“All this means that there will be a low output of agriculture at the end of 2022. The implication of that is that come next year, the food situation will be more serious than it is today.”