The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has appealed to consumers to avoid the panic buying and stocking-up of foods amidst the lockdown directive from the president.
His appeal follows the panic buying and massing up of people at various markets to buy food items in large quantities in preparation for the partial lockdown announced by the president.
Addressing the nation last Friday, the president declared a 14-day partial lockdown in Accra, Tema, and Kumasi.
The lockdown forms part of the government measures to break the cycle of transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Over the weekend, markets in these areas affected by the lockdown witnessed panic buying and more people rushing to get food items to stock-up for the 14 days partial lockdown.
Consumers have also complained about the recent hike in food prices.
According to Dr. Afriyie, markets are opened for businesses throughout the lockdown, hence, no need for mad rush for food items.
“This is not a war situation, there is no need to stock up foods. I can bet you, in two weeks the prices will come down. I am appealing to everybody to be calm because there is no food shortage,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference today, March 30, the minister said “Don’t waste your money on unnecessary stock ups of foods, the foods are here in abundance for you every day. It is when you rush that the market women will also increase the prices.”
What is the plan of the Stimulus Package for the Agric Sector?
According to Dr.Afriyie, the Agric sector is focusing on soya and poultry because they are the most imported because they lack working capital.
“We are focusing on soya and we are focusing on poultry because these are the ones that we are most dependent upon from outside this country in terms of the volume and the value of imports. You would see that the millers do not have enough working capital to buy from farmers. It is a project we are talking about to give working capital to rice millers so that they can buy pudding from farmers. The ministry of finance and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana are putting their heads together to work closely with commercial banks in order that they would give working capital to the millers to buy from the farmers to mill and then to sell unto the value chain,” he said.