The Alliance for Development and Industrialization (ADI) is asking the Ministry of Finance to be proactive in tackling food scarcity by making resources available to support the government’s flagship program, Planting for Foods and Jobs.
It said these resources will strengthen the operations and output of farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs, (PFJ) so the country could be assured of abundant food after the COVID-19 crisis.
“The ADI is asking the Finance Ministry to release resources for quick cultivation and harvesting of commodities like rice and maize. For example, for protein crops like sorghum millet, soya beans which are grown in the Northern part of the country, we should expect these crops being grown in Bono and Ahafo regions of the country, so it can be abundant,” it said in a statement.
It added that the likely scarcity of food after the COVID-19 may lead to commodity price inflation.
“Some farmers have hidden their foodstuff because of this pandemic and want to sell them off at higher prices within the crisis period, but beyond the crisis period where are we going to get the food to buy. If care is not taken, by the end of September this year there would food scarcity in the country,” it said.
The group says “after its preliminary assessment of the COVID 19, it is predicting that there would a major food crisis if the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Finance fail to take pragmatic measures to address the needs and challenges of farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) program.”
“The government should also take steps in making sure that stable crops’ affordability availability and accessibility is guaranteed, which would help check food inflation. Also, it must consider post-harvest handling, packaging, storage, bagging and processing of these crops”, it said.
Additionally, the government must also allow institutions who deal in agricultural inputs and related materials to be allowed to operate, so that the farmers would not lack any material during their preparation and cultivation of farm produce.