The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ejura-Sekyredumase constituency in the Ashanti Region, Hon Muhammad Bawah Braimah, has called on government as well as parliament and other stakeholders to take and fashion out regulative measure too standardized unit of measurement for sale and marketing of farm produce in the country.
According to him, the absence of a more standardized regulative unit of measurement for sales and marketing for farm produces, has negatively aided traders to exploit farmers of their sweat at sales point.
Hon Bawah made the call when he presented a statement on the floor of parliament on the matter in Accra yesterday.
“Mr. Speaker, one Major aspect of the production chain that hinders the development of farmers is the marketing of farm produce. Over the years, the unit of measurement for the sale and marketing of farm produce has been the cocoa sack or the size 4 sack. However, , of late the maize dealers and their agents have resorted to the use of the size 5 or makola sack which has no standard limit of measure and as such prone to exploitation of the farmers by the traders,” he said.
He contended that, there well standardized measures in the process of maize production chain, which includes ploughing, spraying and harvesting are done on acre basis, chemicals are sold on liter basis and fertilizers also sold on weight basis, thus 50kg/bag.
This he said, “Mr Speaker, all agronomist practices in the production chain have standard unit of measure, but farmers produce are sold without any standardized measures.”
While acknowledging the effort by successive governments to boost food production and ameliorates farmers plight through the provision of agriculture machinery,improved seeds, chemicals and fertilizers, all such could not boost production of maize without the standardized unit of measures for farm produce.
Citing the plight of farmers at Ejura, Hon Bawah bemoaned the high level of exploitation of maize farmers by traders, stating, “a bag may weigh between 135 to 150 kg for the price of 100kg bag supposedly prescribed by Ministry of Food and Agriculture(MOFA) and other agencies depending on the agent who is buying and there is no uniformed or defined limit, a situation which is highly detrimental to farmers and prone to exploitation.”
The Lawmaker indicated that, it was as the result of getting value for money for maize farmers that, Ejura-Sekyredumase Municipal Assembly in conjunction with sisters assemblies including Nkoranza North, Nkoranza South, Techiman and Atebubu-Amantin District Assemblies in 2014 through a joint resolution banned the use of the makola sack as a unit of measurement for sale and marketing of farm produce in their respective jurisdictions.
“Mr Speaker, the resolution affirmed the use of cocoa sack or size 4 sack as a unit of measurement for the sale and marketing of farm produce. This intervention increased the income levels of the farmers tremendously because hitherto farm produce that we’re sold for seven bags could now be sold for ten bags or more,” Hon Bawah further stated.
He added that, though the intervention receive commendation from farmers and the World Food Programme, it has been abandoned and the traders have resorted to the use of the size 5 sack or makola sack and the farmers are now being exploited again and expressed the fear that if government do not take pragmatic steps, the plating for foods and jobs may not achieve the purpose.
Hon Bawah therefore called for an urgent need to regulate the sale and marketing of farm produce either by adopting a standardized unit of measure such as the kilogram and metric tons, kg/mt.
He also called on the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of parliament as well as the sector Ministry, the Ghana Standard Authority and all other relevant stakeholders to fashion out a regulation to standardized a unit measurement for the sale and marketing of farm produce as being practiced in other nations, so to enhance and sustain food production in the country.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba