There is a looming shortage of maize supply in the country, following rainfall failure during this year’s cropping season.
Kofi Tweneboa, Afram Plains District Agriculture Development Project Coordinator, who disclosed this to the Times at Donkorkrom last Friday, said the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, had instructed all the regional directorates of Agriculture to compile and submit data on the situation for action to be taken.
Mr. Tweneboa said the total land under maize cultivation in the Kwahu North Afram Plains District, one of the country’s food baskets was 24,000 acres, recording an aggregate loss of 45 per cent.
He explained that contrary to meteorological prediction of a good rainfall pattern for crop production, the rains suddenly stopped at the time the crops were maturing.
Mr. Tweneboa said similar erratic rainfall pattern had been experienced across the country and that domestic maize shortage was imminent.
He blamed the erratic rainfall pattern to human activities, citing the cutting down of trees for charcoal burning and other poor agriculture practices as contributing to the poor crop production in the country.
Maize, the country’s number one staple, is produced by small holder farmers under rain fed cropping and is widely consumed across the country.
A maxi bag of the grain is sold GH˘90 at the Techiman major production centre, and resold above GH˘100 in other parts of the country.
Maize production in the country went up from 1,470,076 tonnes in 2008 to 1,619,590 and shot up again in 2010 to 1,871,695 tonnes.
On November 24, during the debate in Parliament on 2012 Budget Statement and Financial Policy of the government, Ernest Debrah, the immediate past Minister of Food and Agriculture, predicted that prices of grains would rise “astronomically “ with serious implications for food security in the country.
The government has planned, under the National Food Buffer Stock Company, in the 2012 budget, to build a maize hub with two giant warehouses around the maize production belt at Techiman and Tamale to shore excess cereals, at least 10,000 tonnes each of maize and rice and 1,000 tonnes for soya beans.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi could not be reached to comment on the situation.
Source: The Ghanaian Times
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