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Ghana - 19 August, 2022
The Research for Development and Innovation Agriculture and Learning (ReDIAL) multi-stakeholder dialogue platform in Techiman – Bono East region has appealed to the government to set standardized prices for cereals and grains trade. The call was made at the platform’s maiden quarterly meeting held at the Brongkyampem Hall.
The Municipal Agric Director, Mr James Adu, shared that the Department of Agriculture carries out studies on challenges farmers in the municipality face each year. The study is dubbed ‘Research Extension Farmer Linkage’. He continued that the findings for the past four years show that the lack of scales/weights/measures and standard pricing (in the trade of food crops e.g. maize) is the number one issue plaguing farmers in the municipality. The issue has ranked top for four consecutive years and as such, has to be addressed. Mr Adu was of the view that the diversity in stakeholders constituting the platform would foster fruitful dialogue and hopefully, a solution to the challenge.
Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) Regional Manageress for Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions, Xaviera Tawiah sensitized platform members on the Standards Decree NRCD 173, 1973 and Weights and Measures Decree NRCD 326, 1975. She highlighted the benefits of standards, weights and measures offences and the role of GSA in ensuring uniformity in local market trading and fairness in trade for both buyer and seller.
The secretary of the Southern Maize Traders Association, Mr Obiri Yeboah who is also a member of the MSD platform inquired from Madam Xaviera why GSA is not seen ensuring the use of scales in local markets. He continued that GSA is seen ensuring fuel stations use the right scales in their operation. However, the same cannot be said for cereal and grain trade. In response, Madam Xaviera indicated that sensitization on weight, scales and food crop trade is needed as there would be a lot of resistance if GSA were to enforce compliance without first educating market women and farmers. She suggested that farmers can also come together and decide to sell their produce to aggregators or market women who use scales.
The chairman of the MSD platform, Nana Kwaw Adams, called on all to play their respective roles so Ghana can have a standardized price for cereals and grains just like her neighbours Togo, Burkina Faso, and Cote d'Ivoire. He pointed out that a lot of maize farmers are shifting to cashew because of the standardization issue. He warned that if nothing is done about the standard pricing issue, there will be a shortage of the staple crop in the coming years.