GARDJA’s checks in the Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipality of the Ashanti region shows 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.
Some aggregators and farmers are 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.
There have been speculations from across the country in the last few days about the purported shortage of maize on the market with poultry farmers crying out the loudest. The concerns of the local poultry farmers stem from the fact that feed for their birds is mainly maize based and that a shortage of the product has a dire consequence on their production and also the cost of poultry and poultry products.
Ejura in national food production
The Ejura-Sekyedumase Municipality is an acclaimed major maize production hub in the country such that the situation there provides a fair view of the national production outlook. Information from the Regional Agric Directorate earlier indicated to GARDA that the problem of fall armyworms invasion on basically maize farms cost the region about 15 percent less maize production during the last farming season.
This situation, however, has minimal impact on the overall production thereby giving no cause for alarm.
The prevailing situation
A visit to Ejura on Monday, May 15, which happened to be the town’s Market Day, 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.
Our news team also learned 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. Market watchers say, 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 is a woman farmer who has been in the in the business for more than 20 years and knows the trend of the marketing situation. She told GARDJA that despite the shortfall in her yield per acre as a result of the fall armyworms, she still has enough maize for sale.
Nana Sekan Nonsi who is also a traditional leader said she cultivated about 50 acres of maize last season and harvested eight bags per acre instead of the anticipated 10 as a result of the Fall Army Worms attack. Nonetheless, she said she has enough maize in stock and that she was in the market at the time we arrived there to find out the prevailing prices.
Nana Sekan Bonsi, therefore, discounted claims of maize shortage on the market. She asked the government not to import maize since that could create a glut with a potential to reduce the prices of the commodity.
Her assertion was corroborated by the Secretary to the Coalition of Farmer-Based Organizations at Ejura, Adam Mahama, who is himself a farmer. According to Mr. Mahama, who is always in touch with the farmers due to his position, there is enough maize from the last planting season.
However, he stated that some people have deliberately held the commodity from the market.