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‘Kenkey’ hasn’t shrunk under me, Mahama touts glut record

There is a staple food glut in the country, President John Mahama has said.

“We have done well in terms of our staple foods. There is no shortage in terms of our staple foods,” President Mahama told Ghanaians in Germany Tuesday after his two-day state visit to the European country.

He said there is a glut of maize, cassava, yam and plantain in the country.

“Indeed we’re overproducing most of those foods and so we’re exporting yams; a lot of plantains get rotten because theirs is overproduction and we have a lot of cassava. We’re overproducing cassava. So for the staple foods that we have eaten traditionally as Ghanaians, those foods are available and abundant.

“So if you eat our traditional foods, you don’t have a problem and that is why of all the things I’m accused of an increase in the price of ‘gari olonka’ which used to be the standard for measuring the performance of the government, or I’m not accused that the size of a ball of ‘kenkey’ is shrinking.” President Mahama observed.

On National Best Farmers Day last year, December 5, 2014, the President said: “We have achieved self-sufficiency in maize production and indeed last year for the first time in many years we were able to export maize through the World Food Programme… The World Food Programme bought some maize on the Ghanaian market for export to the Sahelian region where they have humanitarian programmes of food relief.”

He also said: “We have achieved self-sufficiency in yam production. Indeed we are over-producing yam and we are an exporter of yam to Europe and other destinations.”

Similarly, Mr Mahama said: “We have achieved self-sufficiency in cassava production and we are producing enough cassava to feed ourselves. We have achieved self-sufficiency in plantain production and plantain is available everywhere in this country.”

The President, however, said during the ceremony at Sefwi Wiawso that more needs to be done in vegetable production.

“One area we need to increase production is in the production of vegetables. Vegetables are easy to grow and it is something that we can take up. There is no reason why we must continue to import vegetables from South Africa. Several of our supermarkets are receiving vegetables: carrots, onions, tomatoes and other such vegetables from South Africa. We must make it our vision to produce these vegetables locally and supply to these supermarkets.

“We have also invested in sugar production. As many of you are aware, just a few months ago, I cut the sod for the reconstruction of the Komenda Sugar Factory. And we are going to have an out-grower system that will feed the factory with sugarcane and it is my hope that when that factory starts working it should be able to produce 50% of the sugar that we eat in this country,” he added.

Source: Ghana/

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