Issah Alhassan Ridwan, press secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, says the Ministry has considered adding maize to the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) market.
Speaking in an interview on JoyNews’ The Pulse on Monday, Alhassan Ridwan said maize will be on the market by next week.
“The plan to introduce maize is on the line. It is seriously being considered. By next week when the consignment moves from Techiman to Accra, you would find maize in there,” he said.
He added that other foodstuffs that go onto the average Ghanaian table daily such as beans, gari etc are also being considered.
This comes against the backdrop of patrons of the PFJ market calling on the government to introduce variety in the foodstuffs made available.
According to them, plantain is not the only commodity they consume.
“Bring rice, spinach (kontomire), cocoyam, yam, why have you brought only plantain without others?” they demanded.
According to the Agric Minister’s spokesperson, “There have been several calls to introduce a variety of foodstuffs into the market and that “is what we are doing.”
He explained that plantain was dominant because the Ministry targeted to supply food that was costly in the capital.
Responding to whether the PFJ market is directed to kill the market of petty traders, Mr Alhassan Ridwan noted that the Agric Ministry does not want to take the business of selling from the market women, however, the present effort is an emergency measure due to food price hikes.
He also stated that the Ministry is also engaging in the PFJ market to prove the availability of foodstuffs.
“What we are doing is only as a Ministry to facilitate the trading for these people who ordinarily may have used market women or middlemen somewhere along the line. This time around, we want to do a linear market straight from the farm to the Ministry and then the Ministry will use its institutions to market it for them.”