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Shortage of Maize on Local Markets: Blame Bad Roads for Deficiency

Maize sellers at the Asesewa market in the Upper Manya Krobo district in the Eastern region are attributing the shortage of the commodity to bad roads leading to most farming communities in the district.

The traders who spoke in an interview with Rite news’ Asesewa correspondent earlier on Friday from the Asesewa market said the deplorable nature of the roads to the some farming communities together with poor sales recorded by the market women accounted for the shortage of the commodity on the market.

Farmers who ply most roads linking the farming communities to the market centers in the Upper Manya Krobo district have explained that the poor nature of the roads is affecting their businesses.

The poor nature of roads leading to many farming districts and communities in the country has to a large extent contributed to post-harvest losses often experienced, every year.

The state of the roads and the lack of market according to the women is preventing the farmers from conveying large quantities of the produce from the farms to the market center.

“Maize farmers find it reluctant to carry a large quantity of maize to the market because at the end of the day there are no buyers to buy the maize, resulting in poor sales,” one woman told Rite news Sylvester Angmorteh.

“After paying an expensive fair to the drivers due to the nature of the road we come to the market and at the end there are no buyers and we would have to carry the whole quantity of maize back home in order to avoid that, we the sellers have no option than to sell the maize at a lower price than its normal price. That is our only alternative.

Government should come to our aid to help put the roads into a good shape to help us as this has become a threat to our business, the traders appealed.

Shortages of maize have been reported in various markets across the country. Worst hit perhaps is the poultry sector where members have called the development a crisis.

The Poultry Farmers Association made up of some 4000 members lamented over what they say is a rare crisis in maize which they use to prepare feed for their livestock.

But the Food and Agriculture ministry has denied that the increasing prices of maize is a sign of shortage.

A Deputy Minister, George Oduro said maize buying companies have bought off the staple for poultry and will soon sell it to persons in need of the commodity.

In essence, there is enough maize only it is stocked in warehouse but not on the market, he explained.

The poultry farmers believe the problem can be attributed to the fall armyworm invasion which destroyed farms in 2017.

But the Ministry has contested this claim.

George Oduro maintained government’s flagship agricultural programme ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ posted great yields for maize, adding that about 485,000 metric tonnes of maize was harvested in the first year of the programme.

But the catch is that government licensed about 1,300 produce buyers to buy the produce for the National Buffer Stock company, he explained.

Source: Rita Nkansah/www.ritefmonline.org/rnkansah12@gmail.com

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