Business News of Saturday, 1 July 2017
The National Food and Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) is set to rehabilitate abandoned cocoa warehouses by September to absorb the produce from the ‘planting for food and jobs’ agenda.
The warehouses once refurbished will be handed over to the National Food and buffer stock company by the ministry for food and agriculture towards reception of excess produce from the ‘planting for food and jobs’ project.
The Acting Chief Executive of NAFCO, Abdul Wahab Hanan said “our 2015 stock balance, we had 15,000 metric tons of maize and 5000 metric tons of rice but these quantities were released into the system in 2016 so we currently have zero stock balance. However plans are far advanced to mop up excesses from farmers from the planting for food and jobs.”
He said, “We are expecting about 150,000 metric tons of white maize, then 50,000 metric tons of yellow maize, 300,000 metric tons of local produced rice and 20,000 metric tons of soya beans.”
Abdul Wahab Hanan said “Looking at the reports we are getting, a lot of farmers have registered on the planting for food and jobs so looking at the figures we are getting, it’s very encouraging so we are also positioning ourselves to meet the output from farmers”.
Activity leading to these warehouses being refurbished is said to be far advanced and the exercise is being carried out by a three member committee headed by the current acting chief executive for NAFCO.
According to him, they are accessing some abandoned cocoa sheds which are over 100,000 metric tons in capacity. Assessment has been completed in the central region, Brong Ahafo region, Western region and the Ashanti region, Eastern and Volta region assessments are currently underway.
He said, “there are no timeline to this project but with what we are doing we will identify the ones that we can immediately work on to meet this harvest season. So by end of September we are hoping to have these strategic ones in place.
Additionally, the government intends to construct a-1,000 capacity warehouse in each of the 216 districts as efforts are being made to tackle food security.