Blame shortage of maize on hoarders

Maize farmers in the Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipality, of the Ashanti region, have denied reports that there is a shortage of the commodity, in the country, blaming activities of those hoarding it for this development.

They said some individuals are deliberately hoarding their produce to create an artificial shortage with the intention of stimulating price hikes.

Some aggregators and farmers are therefore asking the government not to import maize in order not to cause a maize glut in the system and compromise the price of the commodity.

The alleged shortage of the commodity follows some speculations in the last few days that some poultry farmers have been unable to get the commodity on the market to prepare feed for their birds.

The poultry farmers were alleged to have also indicated that a shortage of the product has a dire consequence on their production and also the cost of poultry and poultry products.

However, checks by show there is enough maize available on the open market for public and industrial consumption.

The problem, however, is the deliberate hoarding by some individuals to create an artificial shortage of the commodity with the intention of stimulating price hikes.

At a visit to Ejura showed that farmers had brought their maize produce from various parts of the Municipality for sale. While some trucks were offloading onto the market, others were ready to cart the produce to other parts of the country for distribution to the consuming public. Indeed, there was no indication of a maize shortage, at least from the market situation.

It also emerged that the prices of the product have been stable in the last month. While the maxi bag of the yellow corn has been selling at 180 Ghana Cedis, the same quantity of the white corn is being bought for 200 Ghana Cedis.

According to some market watchers, for the prices to remain stable for almost one month is ample evidence that there is no shortage of the commodity in the system.

Nana Sekan Bonsi, a maize farmer who also discounted claims of maize shortage on the market said any attempt by the government not to import maize could create a glut. The development she also noted has a potential to reduce the prices of the commodity.

For instance, it was observed during the visit was that some people playing the role of middlemen are keeping large quantities of maize in their houses.

Issah Adam who has turned his two private residences into stores for the hoarding thousands of bags of maize explained that given the cost he has incurred in his business so far, he will run at a loss if he sells the maize at the current prices.

Other reasons for creating the artificial shortage he said, was to stop the poultry farmers from cheating on the farmers since they always buy the commodity at cheap prices from the farmers but rather sell it at exorbitant prices.

The out-going Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipal Agric Director, Yeboah Asuama, stressed that there is no shortage of maize on the market and expressed surprised at the speculations. He agreed with the farmers and aggregators for withholding the commodity from the market since they also need to maximize their profit

The Municipal Chief Executive, Mohammed Salisu Bamba said for the artificial shortage to stop is not bad since the priority of government is to ensure that farmers enjoy the fruits of their labour.

The MCE blamed the speculation on his political opponents who, he claimed are dabbling in propaganda. Going forward, Mr. Bamba suggested to the central government to build more storage facilities in the municipality to assure the market of availability of maize at all times.



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