Emmanuel Wullo Wullingdool, an Agriculture Policy Consultant has urged the government to fund and equip the National Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) better to allow them help control food prices, particularly in the current system where traders are being blamed for unbridled profiteering.
Speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, Mr. Wullingdool suggested that if well equipped and managed, the Buffer Stock could have mopped up excess food at farm gates, transport same to government-operated warehouses, and retail same at giveway prices to consumers.
This, the Policy Consultant hoped would ensure there’s availability of food but all provide competition for the traders so they do not raise their prices unnecessarily.
“[One District One Warehouse], comes in to play a role, in that they provide storage spaces where the food could be aggregated and stored. Then, the Buffer Stock becomes a coordinating agency with the storage points. They would ensure that there is regular supply of food to where it is needed at a much lower price.”
“This thing, I believe the private sector alone cannot do, so it goes a long way to complement what the private sector is doing. They can complement each other in a way that ensures that prices remain stable,” he said.
While Mr. Wullingdool’s strategy doesn’t take the pricing power away from traders who act as middlemen, it employs the use of basic economics to drive down prices.
“It is demand and supply. Once consumers know that market woman A is charging me Ghc15 for a bowl of maize, and I am getting it at a National Buffer Stock store at Ghc12, it is basic economics. No one would tell the market woman to lower the price,” he said.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana