The government has replied the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, after he stated that Ghana now imports plantain due to bad leadership on the part of the John Mahama administration.
Speaking during a meeting with NPP faithful in France, Akufo-Addo said a current deficit in food supply had left government with no option but to import plantain from neighboring countries – something he promised to reverse should he be elected president of Ghana.
“When Kufuor was leaving in 2008 the import food bill for our country was $600 million, Mills and Mahama criticized Kufuor for his performance and promised to reduce it. Last year the food import bill of our country was $1.5 billion. We are now importing plantain into Ghana,” he said.
But in a reaction on Accra-based Citi FM, the deputy agric minister, Ahmed Alhassan, said it was not true that the government was importing plantain.
Alhassan also said that there was no shortage of the commodity on the market, adding that in 2015, Ghanaian farmers produced 3.9 million metric tonnes of plantain, despite the country needing just 2.3 million metric tonnes for consumption.
He said farmers also produced 17 million metric tonnes of cassava when Ghana needed just half of it to feed the population.
"We do not import such products,” he emphasised.