July 19, 2024
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Government must lead multi-sector solution to drive down food inflation

The government has been advised to lead efforts to ensure policy coherence, collaboration, and coordination to comprehensively tackle agriculture value chain challenges.

That, panellists at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank breakfast meeting said, would lead to the availability and affordability of produce, thereby, helping reduce food inflation sustainably, and strengthen food security in the country.

The forum, held on Tuesday, June 25, 2025, on the theme: “Enhancing agricultural sufficiency to tackle food inflation”, saw panellists recommending solutions to increase productivity for a sustainable reduction in food inflation.

The Ghana Trade Report noted that the country imported GH¢26.7 billion worth of food in 2023, with the Statistical Service data indicating that food inflation, which was 22.6 per cent in May 2024, is a major contributor to inflation.

Mr Kwesi Korboe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of Ghana Incentive-based Risk Sharing for Agric Lending, (GIRSAL) said, the agric sector remained pivotal in reducing inflation and championing Ghana’s industrialisation agenda.

“Agriculture is a multisectoral venture, requiring access to road networks, access to land, water, and finance, so if we want to see Ghana like how Brazil got to where they are today, we’ll need policy coherence, collaboration, and coordination,” he said.

Using the poultry value chain as an example, he noted that while an average of 13.7 kilogrammes of chicken is consumed per person in Ghana, importation constituted 83.09 per cent of the 449.77 billion kg of total consumption.

He compared the country’s situation to the US, where per capita consumption is 57.7kg, with import being 0.52 per cent of the total consumption of 19.16 billion kg.

In Brazil, 0.21 per cent of the 10.84 billion kg of poultry is imported and an average of 50.6kg of poultry is consumed, in South Africa, per capita consumption is 38kg per person, with 20.4 per cent of the 2.26 billion kg of poultry imported.

“In Ghana, we consume the least [of poultry], but we consume more import…so when food inflation goes up, are we surprised? He asked, citing the situation as a major reason for high food inflation in the country.

Mr Korboe said agric should be seen as a business that addressed social needs, urging the government to deliberately lead policy actions in promoting research, improving the financial ecosystem, and addressing climate change challenges.

Nana Yaw Sarpong Siriboe, 2022 National Best Farmer, called on the government to create a conducive environment for increased private sector participation in the agricultural sector.

“Agric is not a farmer’s venture; it’s from the farm to the table. Therefore, the government must create an enabling environment for private sector participation along the value chain,” he said.

Nana Siriboe said the government’s second phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative, when implemented effectively, would lead to an increase in production, access to finance and market, hence, a reduction in food inflation.

Steven Odarteifio, Coordinator, Sustainable Food Systems, World Food Programme (WFP), Ghana, bemoaned the cost of production, citing it as one of the reasons for low productivity.

He stated that the average cost of developing a piece of land for rice production per hectare for example, was GHS40,000, which was discouraging, particularly to those who would want to engage in commercial farming.

Mr Odarteifio noted that the government’s Economic Enclave Project had laid the foundation for significant improvement in yields in rice, maize, and soybeans in the next two years.

The Economic Enclave Project seeks to increase productivity, enhance the storage and processing of major stable foods, and enable easy access to the market through a public-private partnership.

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