The Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Yaw Frimpong Addo says government is unable to tell whether the quantity of food produced this year is higher than what was harvested last year.
According to him, such assessment can only take place after this year’s harvesting period.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said: “We will assess the situation at harvesting period. I’m not too sure if the quantities being referred to are this year’s or last year’s cropping season. If it is this year’s cropping season, then they are yet to harvest. The northern sector has only one planting season. As far as I know, this is the time that the seeds planted are beginning to grow.
“Around this time some farms are harvesting so, we will have to wait till the harvesting period is over before we can assess whether output, compared to last year are the same, dropped or increased.”
His comment was in response to submissions made by General Secretary of General Agricultural Union Workers (GAWU), Edward Kareweh, who indicated that he has seen a reduction in output in rice production.
Mr Kareweh blamed the reduction on the lack of fertilizer.
“The point is that if you don’t have fertilizer and then you continue and have a large acre, what it will mean is that once you don’t apply the fertilizer, output will be low, however, your cost will remain the same,” he told host, Evans Mensah on Wednesday.
Speaking to the matter, Mr Frimpong noted that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, fertilizer manufacturers were unable to meet the demand, hence, the shortage.
“Every country went for the little that was produced. In our case where the suppliers of fertilizers give to farmers, Ministry of Agriculture under the Planting for Food and Jobs, then they collect their monies later, without the monies in hand and the prices on the world market going up, fee charges went up so much, we all agree that we have this challenges,” he stated.
Aside from that, the Deputy Minister stated that although weather patterns at the beginning of the year were unreliable, the situation has changed.
Thus, giving hope for great output by farmers during harvesting period. Mr Frimpong added that the high prices of foodstuff currently will also be checked.
“During the second half of the year, the rainfall pattern has been good. I am very sure that the farmers are going to get good harvest. It may not be at the level of last year or two years but they are going to get good harvest because the weather has been good.
“Because of that, I am very confident that overall, we will get good harvest and the prices that are so high (will reduce). The forces of demand and supply will determine the prices,” he concluded.