MP for Tain ,HON.RAMZY predicts Food Shortage as Farm lands taken by Weeds
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Tain Constituency in the Bono Region, Hon Adama Sulemana has raised alarm over the imminent shortage of food in the entire country due to the government’s poor agriculture policies.
According to him, Ghana is likely to face severe food shortage and hunger in the coming months specifically the last quarter of 2022 and 2023, because the government failed to heed the expert warnings on the looming food crisis.
He said the absence of fertilizer and weedicides for farmers has led to weeds taking over farmlands, making food production in the rural farm areas helpless and unproductive.
Hon Sulemana revealed this during an interview with EXPRESSNEWSGHANA in Parliament on Monday, August 15, 2022.
The MP said his interaction with a number of farmers in his constituency and others in other districts showed an acute shortage of fertilizer for smallholder farmers in the Bono enclave, which is the largest food production hub in the country.
“In some instances, fertilizer companies are selling at higher prices outside the reach of smallholders, citing lack of government’s interest in paying their previous supplies,” Hon Sulemana said.
He advised the government and the Ministry of Agriculture to re-assess the nation’s food security strategy and heed the warning for government to invest more in agriculture, especially fertilizer.
The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Food Programme and World Trade Organisation warned that the rise in food prices had been exacerbated by a dramatic increase in the cost of natural gas, a key ingredient of nitrogenous fertilizer.
Surging fertilizer prices along with significant cuts in market supplies have important implications for food production in the country, especially for most deprived district farmers who rely heavily on fertilizer from the central government suppliers.
The increase in food prices and supply shocks can fuel social tensions in the country, especially in communities that are already fragile or affected by conflicts.
The Tain lawmaker who is a member of the Communication Committee of Parliament emphasized the need for the government to consolidate its flagship Planting for Food and Jobs program by making efforts to ensure the availability of fertilizer to all farmers.
“The Ministry of Agriculture and the government should delay no further in making payment to importers and fertilizer companies to ensure availability of subsidized fertilizer in the market. This preventive measure will ultimately mitigate the crisis when food shortages arise,” the MP said.
Hon Sulemana however joined the scores of Ghanaians who called for President Akufo-Addo to reshuffle his minister rather than sack those who are not performing, saying, if you take those who are not performing to another Ministry, they will do worse, and he should just sack them and bring new faces.”