January 22, 2021

Esoko urges gov’t to speed up warehousing project to tackle post-harvest losses

A Commodity price survey service company, Esoko Ghana, has asked government to speed up its construction of warehouses to prevent post-harvest losses as the harvest season for farmers inches closer.

Government in 2018 launched the one district, one warehouse project, to provide storage for farm produce.

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For many years, post-harvest losses have become a common feature in Ghana’s agric value chain largely due to limited storage facilities for food produce.

This situation usually leads to farm produce going bad, making farmers poorer as they earn less for their work.

The situation also threatens food security, as storage is critical for difficult times when such produce are not in abundance.

Government in March 2020 said it was constructing 50 warehouses across the country, as part of the one district one warehouse project.

Although these projects are yet to see the light of day, the Minister of Agric in April this year said, government is constructing 80 warehouses with the capacity to store up to 80,000 metric tonnes of food items aimed at ensuring food security.

He said upon completion, these warehouses would distributed to the National Food Buffer Stock Company, the Ghana Stock Exchange, private sector organizations and the sector Ministry for efficient operation.

Content Manager at Esoko Ghana, Francis Danso Adjei, tells Citi Business News government must show more commitment to meet this need.

He says the lack of storage facilities will be a major problem for farmers and traders especially during the harvest season.

“We as a country would have to take a bold step to invest in post-harvest management and for that matter storage facility. When you go to the market now you will realize that a box of tomato that was being sold for between Ghc800 and Ghc1, 000 is now being sold at Ghc200, Ghc300. This is because if they don’t give it at that price, they have no way of storing the commodity. We need to invest in storage so that once we have excess, we can store them and during the lean period, we can start releasing them onto the market to make sure that we have stable supply” he advised.

Meanwhile, in a new survey conducted by Esoko Ghana for the month of June 2020, it emerged that the price of cassava recorded the highest increase among a number of foodstuff that were tracked by the company. The price of cassava increased by 12.9 percent a bag, hitting 158 cedis.

Prices of imported rice was the second highest after cassava with a 9.90 percent increase selling at 404 cedis per bag.

100 tubers of Pona sold at 892.67 cedis after increasing by 6.65 percent whereas cowpea white also gaining 6.03 percent costing 452.00 cedis per bag.

Gari also recorded an increase of 3.10 percent in price with a bag being sold at 242.14 cedis while the price of groundnut shelled increased by 2.93 percent to close at 582.29 per bag.

The price of Wheat went up by 1.54 percent to close at GHS 304.20 per bag with maize also gaining 0.52 percent to close at GHS 167.14 per bag.

However, the price of tomato plunged by 42.99 percent to close at GHS 532.00 per crate with local rice losing 2.49 percent in prices to close at GHS 336.29 per bag.

Source: Business