Patrons of the maiden Kumasi edition of the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs market have expressed disappointment in the turnout of events.
They say the commodities; a few bags of local rice, some vegetables, and gari are expensive just as the ones sold on the market.
After a long wait for the market to start, the pick-up full of food items that arrived at the venue had limited stock.
At 7:00am on Friday, some patrons gathered at the Prempah Assembly Hall in Kumasi in anticipation of shopping at government’s Planting for Food and Jobs market.
Some who had traveled from far and near were expecting to buy low-priced commodities introduced by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
However, after several hours of waiting, there seemed to be no sign of the food items.
One of them told Luv FM’s Mona Lisa Frimpong that “when we came, we knew the food commodities were ready for us to purchase and go but there is none. I came here around 9:00am and have waited till this time. We were told the items were coming and it is now that it is in.”
“We have been waiting for long and were even told we need to bring our Ghana Card, so we went back to bring it.”
At midday, a Toyota pick-up loaded with bags of rice, spinach, lettuce, carrots, and spring onions was spotted heading to the grounds.
But patrons were dissatisfied as they were expecting varieties of stable foods.
“I was coming to buy plantain and have waited for a very long time but there was none, so I decided to buy rice and go home. I thought a lot of food commodities will be available to make a choice from it, but they weren’t, so I decided to buy only rice,” a patron told Luv News.
A section of customers said the commodities are highly priced, they expressed their surprise at the supposedly affordable commodities which they say are high compared to similar ones sold at market centers in Kumasi.
“I came here purposely for the rice but the price is quite expensive. 70 cedis for 5kg is a little bit expensive… we came here because we thought it is affordable, but got to know a bag of rice is 70 cedis. We pleaded with them to reduce the price to 50 cedis since times are hard,” she added.
However, the Ashanti Regional Director of Agriculture, Rev John Manu said that the prices are not as high as the patrons suggest.
“Bag of carrots is sold here for 20 cedis but one will buy it for 25 cedis in the open market. As time goes on, people will realise that the produce are affordable if we continue with this exercise.” he said.
“If people realise this and stop going to the open market to purchase commodities, it will force those there to also reduce their prices to make things affordable.”
He continued that, the initiative is to persuade traders in the open market to reduce prices of their food items.
They believe this will make it affordable for all.
“We are not here to sabotage people’s business, but we want them to be considerate. At least, get 50 percent profit instead of 100 percent to give the consumer a breathing space.”
Source: Ghana News