A group of key players in Ghana’s agricultural industry has expressed its utmost disappointment in certain utterances made by the Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, during an interview.
The group, made up of Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, the General Agricultural Workers Union, the Rice Millers Association of Ghana and Food Sovereignty Ghana, said it is appalled by the Minister’s reactions to pertinent issues surrounding food security in the country.
In the said interview on Accra-based Citi FM, the Group said the Minister was largely evasive and unaccountable and displayed high levels of intolerance in his choice of words to the interviewer.
They added that some of his responses were in outright disrespect of the living experiences of farmers and other actors in the sector.
According to the group, the Minister, despite glaring evidence pointing to food inflation and Ghana’s deteriorating state of food security, disagreed and insisted that the reports alluding to those claims were unreliable.
He, however, failed to provide any counter argument or evidence to support his own claims, it said.
What broke the camel’s back was when the Minister downplayed the claim of food inflation by drawing on his own domestic experience.
“My wife has not indicated to me food prices have increased,” he’s quoted to have replied.
“How inconsiderate and disrespectful to Ghanaians? We hope his responses this morning, and in previous comments such as the reference to his domestic experience is not a reflection of official government position on the developments in the sector. That will be an unfortunate situation,” the Group said.
According to them, “in fact, forecast by analysts and economists suggest that the situation will get worse in the coming months due to existing weaknesses in our systems as well as global pressures.
“Policy makers at the highest level such as the sector Minister cannot be dismissive of these risks and reports. At the minimum, such reports should be seen as feedback to enable government and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to examine their policy toolkits to addressing the underlying risks in a collaborative manner.”
Below is the full statement: