Gov’t to privatize the Buffer Stock Company

The Agricultural Minister Clement Kofi Humado has announced plans by government to privatize the National Food and Buffer Stock Company.

In an exclusive interview with Joy News, the minister said government has no money to pump into the company, explaining that legislative processes are underway to have private investors take over the company.

The minister believes that is the surest way to arrest the financial predicament of the company.

The National Food and Buffer Stock Company which was inaugurated in 2010 had the mandate to purchase, preserve, sell and distribute foodstuffs in the country.

The company, solely and fully owned by the government, was to guarantee farmers an assured income by providing a minimum guaranteed price and a ready market for their produce.

However, the 15 million Ghana cedis seed capital for the project announced during the inauguration, is yet to be fully redeemed by government.

Operations Manager of the company Ken Aquaye told Joy News the institution needs a major capital injection to deliver on its mandate.

The Agric minister Clement Humado says government has had a change of mind on the operations of the company.

He told Joy News’ Gifty Andoh-Appiah, the direct capital injection from government will no longer happen and charged the company to position itself appropriately to be attractive to private investors.

Mr Humado said his ministry has gone far in pursuing legislation to introduce a Commodity Exchange system similar to the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Under the new commodity exchange system which Ghana seeks to replicate from Ethiopia, representatives of both farmers and buyers will negotiate on prices, make payments and take delivery of the produce.

This is expected to cut down on stocks of farm produce which gets stuck in warehouses and boost the Buffer stock Company’s finances the minister says.

Currently the Buffer stock company has no budgetary allocation.

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