The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has blamed the current increase in food prices on profiteering from the side of sellers.
He said most of the prices of foodstuffs being sold in the urban areas have been tripled.
This, he said, is the main reason prices are soaring.
He stated that people go to the producing areas to purchase, for example, a basket of tomatoes for ¢150 and then shoot the sales price up to around ¢400 in the cities.
“The problem that we are facing about high cost of food is nothing to do with the shortage of food in the markets. You go to the producing areas, you will see exactly what I am talking about, I am just coming back five weeks ago, there is plenty of stocks and maize not even for this year, this year’s harvest is yet to come, we are talking of leftover last year’s crops”, he said.
“The issue is, you go and buy a basket of let’s say ¢150 of tomatoes, and then it comes to Kumasi and suddenly becomes ¢400, so there is some profiteering going on.”
The Minister also said the government has made sure that Ghanaians have food in abundance because of the planting for food and jobs initiative.
“Without Planting for Food and Jobs we’ll be going as hungry as our neighbours around West Africa who are now coming to Ghana as the bread basket to pick our surpluses to the point that we even had to limit it by saying we are temporary banning export of our produce to the neighbouring countries,” he said.
“Of course other west African countries are going hungry that’s why they’re coming to Ghana to pick our food. Our surpluses and you’ll just have to travel to Ejura and other places to see those days the number plates of trucks crisscrossing Ghana, picking up surpluses to feed their own countries.
“As far as Kano in Nigeria, they were coming here to buy our rice,” he stressed.