In spite of measures taken by government to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a partial lock-down in parts of the country, the movement of foodstuff into such locked-down areas is allowed.
This is because food vendors are exempted from the exercise, thereby allowing markets to operate.
But the General Secretary of the Agricultural Workers Union, Edward Kareweh, is warning that food production may drop in the hinterlands due to uncertainties.
Earlier this week, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, assured that there will not be food shortage; although the Finance Minister thinks otherwise.
The General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh, has told Citi Business News that although the locked down areas are not food production centers, they have a huge influence since Accra and Kumasi are consumption centers; hence a likely drop in demand for agricultural produce; which will slow down production.
“Farmers in other parts of the country who are not suffering from the lock-down produce; but the markets for their produce in the lock-down areas is not available. What this means is that it is going to affect production because when the farmers produce, they are unable to sell or send it to the market centres that are in the lock-down areas; therefore, they cannot continue to produce. Apart from that; even for them to take a rational decision they would have come to a certain suffering where they would incur some losses because once you produce and you cannot sell; then certainly you would incur losses. Even if your production is ongoing; you cannot recover the losses you have incurred. That is it for those farmers outside the region under lock-down,” he noted.
Identified cities under lockdown
Following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in the country, many sectors including the agric sector have been hard hit by the pandemic.
President Akufo- Addo on Friday March 27, 2020 announced a two-week partial lock down of Greater Accra region and Kumasi to help curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
This led to a gridlock, panic buying, price hikes and a total sell-out of goods. Also, the last 48 hours to the lock down saw hundreds of Ghanaians going out to buy foodstuffs and essentials to stock up in anticipation of a lockdown.
Many individuals have stated that prices of agricultural commodities such as perishable vegetables have also fallen as bulk demand from hotels and restaurants has nosedived and there is uncertainty over exports.
Currently, Ghana’s case count of Coronavirus is 214.