A local government expert, Mr. Amon Kotei has charged the government to consider establishing silos across the country instaed of the warehouses it plans building in each district of the country. According to him, the policy to set up the warehouses is yet to give answers to the various nagging questions on the project.
Mr. Kotei was reacting to the Akuffo Addo government’s policy to set up one warehouse in the 216 districts nationwide to curtail the challenge of post-harvest losses currently confronting local farmers.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, last Thursday cut the sod to mark the beginning of the implementation of the warehouse part of government’s Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP).
The purpose of these warehouses, according to President Akufo-Addo, would be to handle produce, as well as to store the anticipated surpluses under the “Planting for Food and Jobs” campaign.
But speaking on Rite FM’s Agric Forum, the Local government expert said answers were still outstanding on critical questions such as the storage of vegetable produce which can only be stored under refrigeration to sustain them.
According to him, a lot more was needed for the building of a warehouse and questioned what consultative processes or feasibility studies had been carried out to decide its successful implementation.
According to him, what are needed now are silos and not warehouses. “When we harvest rice, maize, cocoa, etc, we need more than a warehouse and therefore, what we need is a “silo” which is a structure for storing bulk materials and also used in agriculture to store grain,” he stressed.
Mr. Kotei who expressed concern about the “high cost” of establishing a warehouse demanded the source of funding for such a venture. He also asked if government had budgeted for the construction of the warehouses and if the funding was going to come from the 2017 budget or that of 2018.
The expert also wondered why government was moving into a new venture when most of its campaign promises have not yet been fulfilled, arguing that the country does not have enough funds to support this initiative.
It will be recalled that, in April this year, at the launch of the programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, President Akufo-Addo reinforced a pledge made by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, that government intends to build a 1,000 metric ton capacity warehouse in the 216 districts – “1-District-1-Warehouse”.
Source: Nana Ama Sarfoemail@example.com