Maize growers in Brong-Ahafo call for controlled price

By Dennis Peprah, GNA 

Techiman, (B/A), Oct. 24 GNA – Maize farmers
in the Brong-Ahafo Region have expressed discomfort over low prices for maize
and called for a standardised value for their produce to sustain them in
business and enhance their socio-economic livelihood. 

The farmers were unhappy that because they
lacked storage facilities to preserve their produce, retailers and middlemen
took advantage of that and bought the product at cheaper prices during bumper

At a sensitisation meeting, held in Techiman,
Nana Kwao Adams, the Chairman of the Brong-Ahafo Maize Growers Association
(BAMGA) said the nation needed a uniformed weighing scale to control the market
price of maize, and appealed to the government to intervene. 

The Centre of Posterity Interest Organisation
(COPIO), a Non-governmental organisation in collaboration with BAMGA organised
the meeting which was attended by maize farmers and retailers in the Techiman

It formed part of an advocacy project being
implemented by COPIO and BAMGA with support from the Business Sector Advocacy
Challenge (BUSAC) fund aimed at helping to identify and remove bottlenecks
impeding the economic activities of the farmers. 

Nana Adams, who is the Twafohene of Oforikrom
in the Techiman Municipality, observed that the maize farmers felt cheated
because there was no standard scale to weigh their produce on sale. 

Retailers and middlemen, according to the
Chairman bought a bag of maize from the farmers using the size five sack, which
is 135kg, and later used the size four sack to sell the produce to their

He commended BUSAC for the support, and
appealed to all relevant institutions to join the advocacy to bring significant
change in the maize sector.   

Dr John Akparep, a lecturer at the University
of Development Studies, and a consultant for COPIO, called on the government to
address the large disparity in the prices of maize in the country. 

To address the nationwide price gap in the
maize sector, he recommended the need for government to consider buying the
produce from farmers, especially during bumper harvest and stored them for
future use. 

Dr Akparep believed if this was done,
retailers and middlemen in the sector would have no option than to buy the
produce at a controlled price set by the government. 

More so, Dr Akparep called on the government
to support maize growers in the country by providing incentives such as
improved seeds, logistics and agro-chemicals to enable them to expand their
farming activities.     

Mr. George Baah, a maize farmer at Tanoso,
near Techiman, said the low price of maize was making the sector unattractive
as many growers were also operating at a loss. 

He observed that successive governments had
failed maize farmers in the country, saying the advocacy to push for the
standardised price for their produce begun several years ago, and appealed to
the ruling government to intervene. 

Mr Mustapha Yeboah, the Executive Director of
COPIO, said stakeholders’ meeting and media sensitisation would be organised for
the project to achieve desired results.


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