Monday, July 28, 2008


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THERE has been a significant improvement in the food situation in the Ashanti Region resulting in a slump in prices of the major staples.
This has come about as a result of the beginning of the harvesting season for yams, maize, plantain, cocoyam, cassava and cowpea.
Months of increased food prices brought all forms of hardships to the people of the region.
Officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) predicted that prices would go down further in the coming days as harvesting progresses.
They, however, indicated that the rate of decline in prices would depend on other factors that went into production and sales.
These include, the cost of fertilizers, insecticides and transportation among others.
Statistics at the Monitoring and Evaluation Department of MOFA in Ashanti indicated that the price of a100 kg bag of maize now sells at GH¢58.4p as against GH¢83 last month.
An average bunch of plantain currently sells on the market at GH¢ 3 as against GH¢ 5 in the first quarter of the year.
The price of yam and cocoyam were not available at the MOFA office but Graphic Nsempa’s investigations at the Asafo and the Kumasi central markets revealed that five average sized tubers of the yam cost GH¢ 5 as against GH¢7.50 about a month ago.
For cocoyam, a mini basket which cost GH¢7 about a month ago now sells at GH¢4.
Some market women who spoke to this paper indicated that sales of yams had improved with the coming of the fresh produce.
Commenting on the situation, the head of the Monitoring and Evaluation department of MOFA in Ashanti, Mr Eric Fofie, said from all indications the region would record a bumper harvest for all the major staples this year.
He said production of yam at Ejura for instance is expected to be very heavy in the coming weeks as harvesting continued.
Mr Fofie said his outfit supported a number of farmers with various inputs this farming season to enable them improve their output.

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