The Special Aide to the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Andy Owusu has rubbished reports of alleged shortage of maize on the Ghanaian markets.
Andy Owusu, who is a strong advocate of Government's flagship Planting for Food and Jobs Campaign, believes the reported shortage is due to artificial hoarding by some farmers and dealers of the produce just to cash in.
According to him, it is normal in trading for people to take advantage of situations in order to reap maximum gains, considering the fact that under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, there has been increasing demand for the purchase of maize in the country.
He argues that rather than criticizing the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Ghanaians ought to praise and commend him for his initiatives which have ensured that farmers reach optimum benefits for their toil and sweat.
Andy Owusu pointed out that through his laudable initiatives, farming has now become a lucrative business venture with many more youths being encouraged to enter into farming.
"The agricultural sector is currently the Ministry holding this government; many Ghanaians are now gainfully employed under the Planting for Food and Jobs. Ghanaians should be praying for Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto and ask God to grant him more wisdom to be able to transform the agricultural sector," He emphasized
On the concerns of the Poultry Farmers, Andy Owusu said his information indicated that due to limited supply of yellow corn which the farmers require to produce poultry feeds, players in the industry had been given permit to import additional quantities following an appeal made to the Ministry.
Andy said he suspects the producers backtracked on their decision to import the produce after doing the cost-benefit analysis and realizing it would be more expensive to import since globally there is an increase in prices of the commodity.
He said it would be very hard for the Minister to grant them their request to release stocks of the produce at the National Food Buffer Stock(NAFCO) because according to the Ministry, it is meant for supply to the various educational institutions under the Free SHS programme.
"The Ministry has explained that its not possible to release the stock at NAFCO onto the market to satisfy the demands of individual private dealers because that's not the purpose for which the produce are being kept at the Buffer Stock," He emphasized
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