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Importing basic foods is embarrassing – Agric Minister

November 29, 2023
Agric Minister Brian Acheampong
Agric Minister Brian Acheampong

Brian Acheampong, Ghana's Minister for Food and Agriculture, has emphasized the need for the country to halt the importation of essential food items, particularly vegetables like tomatoes and onions.

He deemed the current reliance on imports as embarrassing and called for collective efforts to change this narrative.

The Minister expressed his concerns following a visit to the exhibition stands of farmers and stakeholders participating in the 2023 Agrifest, which is part of the 2023 National Farmers Week celebration.

During the visit, Mr Acheampong highlighted that the government was dissatisfied with the prevailing situation and had devised strategic plans to address it, seeking the support of all stakeholders in the agricultural sector.

Mr Acheampong underscored the government's commitment to transforming the agricultural landscape, citing initiatives such as funding the planting season in the .

He noted a significant reduction in the farm gate price of maize, dropping from 315 to 160 Cedis due to government support.

The Minister urged traders to reflect this price reduction in their sales to consumers.

Addressing the issue of poultry products importation, Mr Acheampong disclosed that Ghana produced only 15,000 metric tonnes while consuming 325,000 metric tonnes. To revitalize the local poultry industry, the government pledged 18 million Cedis support next year.

The Minister outlined the government's broader plan, aiming to increase poultry and food crops production from 15,000 to over 75,000 metric tonnes by 2024 and to 150,000 metric tonnes by 2028.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta echoed the government's commitment, announcing an allocation of one billion Cedis to support initiatives like “.”

He further emphasized a substantial investment of about 10 billion Cedis in the sector to eliminate food imports and generate employment.

Mr Ofori-Atta outlined a deliberate approach for agriculture in 2024, intending to make it more attractive for people to venture into.

He also condemned the overpricing by some traders, emphasizing the need for fair pricing practices throughout the supply chain.

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