The General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union, Mr Edward Kareweh, has said that Ghana does not have enough food available to feed the people for even one month without an import.
He said on the New Day show on TV3 that the reality is that a lot of food items are imported into the country therefore, when upheavals and other economic challenges occur in those countries, automatically they become Ghana’s issues.
Contributing to a discussion on the impact of the ongoing geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine on food supply in Ghana, Mr Kareweh said “The reality is that we do not have enough food in this country. The reality is that we import so much into this country. So if there is a problem in those countries, you import those problems as well.”
An Economist, Dr Adu Owusu Sarkodie has also asked the Government of Ghana to find ways of dealing with the negative impact of the ongoing warfare between Russia and Ukraine on the Ghanaian economy.
He said it is uncertain when the geopolitical tension is ending hence, the need to adopt drastic measures to deal with the consequences.
Speaking on the Key Points on TV3, Dr. Adu Sarkodie said “Let’s identify our problems and deal with them. We should encourage local production because we cannot predict when this Russia-Ukraine war will stop.”
He added that “at the market levels, let’s start weighing the items on the scale so that we can pay based on that and that will harmonize prices. You don’t need to waste time bargaining.”
For him, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Tsornam Akpeloo, has said a premium should be placed on the domestic production of goods in order to halt the rising rate of inflation in the country.
In his view, there is no way the country can deal with the increasing rate by not having clearly defined locally produced items to consume.
“There is no way we can come out of this problem by not having clearly defined locally produced items to consume. The call to localize is what we are asking for to stabilize our system,” he said on the Key Points on TV3.
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) announced on Wednesday, May 11 that the national year-on-year inflation rate was 23.6% in April 2022, which is 4.2 percentage points higher than the 19.4% recorded in March 2022.
The month-on-month inflation between March 2022 and April 2022 was 5.1%, the GSS said on Wednesday, May 12.
Four Divisions, Transport, Household Equipment, and Routine Maintenance, Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels, recorded inflation rates above the national average of 23.6% with Transport, 33.5%, recording the highest inflation.
This month’s food inflation, 26.6%, is higher than both last month’s food inflation, 22.4%, and the average of the previous 12 months 13.5%. Food inflation’s contribution to total inflation, however, decreased from 51.4% in March 2022 to 50.0% in April 2022.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta attributed this to import.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, May 12, Mr Ofori-Atta said “Today, 41 African economies are severely exposed to, at least, one of three concurrent crises, rising food prices, rising energy prices, tightening financial conditions Finance Ministers now call it the dreaded three Fs; Food, fuel and financial conditions.
“That is just a ripple through in all Africa, and food prices easily about 34 per cent higher, crude oil prices some 60 per cent higher, and global inflation has risen, we saw our numbers yesterday moved to 23.6 per cent, a good chunk of it being imported inflation.”