Government to construct 200,000 warehouses for food storage
The government is constructing 80 warehouses with the capacity to store up to 80,000 metric tonnes (MT) of food items aimed at ensuring food security in the country.
Each warehouse would have the capacity to store up to 1,000 MT of food items and it is expected to be ready by June, this year.
Speaking at a media briefing to update the public on food security situation, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the government had targeted to construct a total of 200,000 warehousing capacity to safeguard the country’s food security efforts.
Government would distribute the management of the 80 warehouses upon completion, to the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO), Ghana Stock Exchange, private sector organizations and the sector Ministry for efficient operation.
Dr Afriyie Akoto said since the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the Ministry was engaging input distributors, importers, development partners and Ghana Commodity Exchange to craft remedial measures to respond to the pandemic.
So far, he said, the government had made available funding to the NAFCO to mop up strategic food stocks to ensure food security, and also provide regular update on food situation in the country.
The Minister gave the assurance that the nation had adequate food stock to meet the needs of Ghanaians due to the implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs and other modules like Planting for Export and Rural Development and Rearing for Food and Jobs.
He said the nation produced 650,000 metric tonnes of rice and three million metric tonnes of maize last year, and exported 19 different food items to the West African Sub-region.
The Minister underscored the need to ramp up credit facility to players in the agriculture value chain to increase production and sustain their businesses.
Dr Afriyie Akoto refuted claims that prices of food items were still high even after the lifting of the three-week partial lockdown.
He, however, admitted that though there was slight increment in food items at the eve of the lockdown due to panic buying, prices of food items had returned to normalcy after the lifting of the restriction of movements in COVID-19 hotspots areas.
Meanwhile, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has made available $20 million to Ghana Government to support agriculture expansion programme following the COVID-19 pandemic.