Cost of maize up 600% in 5 years — Threatens food security
Elorm Goh — Executive Director of Agrisolve Ghana

Cost of maize up 600% in 5 years — Threatens food security

The cost of Maize production has increased from GH¢1,200 per acreage in 2020 to GH¢8,100 per acreage in 2024, threatening the production of maize and food security as the crop is a major staple food in the country. 


This accounts for over 500 % increase for the production of maize per acre.

Over five years, the cost of maize production had risen sharply from GHc1,200 in the 2020/2021 season and almost doubled to GHc 2,153  in the 2021/2022 season. It further increased to GH¢5,513 in the 2022/2023 season and GH¢6,277 in the 2023/2024 season.

This year, the cost has increased from last year's figure of GHc6,277 to GH¢8,100, forcing a lot of farmers to abandon the production of maize in the country.

With a projected yield of 12 bags per acreage and a selling price of GH¢250, it means farmers will be making GH¢3,000 in return against a production cost of GH¢8,108.

The Executive Director of Agrisolve Ghana, Elorm Goh, who shared these statistics at the Graphic Business/ Stanbic Bank  Breakfast meeting said, “so certainly there is a disconnect which is not going to auger well for the country.

Farmers are losing out and, therefore, cutting corners, who will invest GH¢8,000 and get back GH¢3,000.”

“We need to get back to the drawing table and start thinking as a country,” she said.

Ms Goh said the factors contributing to the spike in production cost were the rising cost of seeds, fertiliser and land preparation.“In 2021, seed per acreage was GH¢100, 50 kilos of NPK fertiliser was GH¢252 per acreage and ploughing was GH¢90gh per acre. 

Today, the same seeds that used to be sold at GHc 100gh are now selling at GH¢1,100. Fertiliser per acreage is GH¢2,820 and land ploughing is now GH¢250.

“We are producing less than 5 per cent of the seeds we consume as a country internally with 95 per cent imported so once the local currency depreciates, the prices will also go up. 

It’s the same with fertiliser as everything we use is imported,” she explained.

Climate challenges

Ms Goh said the high production cost, coupled with the unfavourable climate conditions threatens maize production and in extension the poultry industry which depends mainly on maize as feed.

“Normally, preparation of land starts in May and planting is done in June but as it stands, the northern sector is yet to start because the rains have failed,” she said.

She said the country must be intentional about agriculture and deal with the sector as comprehensively instead of the piecemeal approach.“We have researchers in seed cultivation here in Ghana but we still import more seeds than cultivate.

If we want agriculture to thrive, we must look at it from the seed level right up to the top,” she stated.

Low productivity

Also speaking at the breakfast meeting, the Chief Executive Officer of the GIRSAL, Kwesi Korboe, said food inflation would continue to be an issue because the country still imports a lot of its food.

Using the poultry industry as an example, he said various activities directly impact the industry.

“We don’t consume enough chicken in Ghana, we do about 13.7 kilos per person compared to 57.7 kilos per person in the USA but what is critical is the amount of imports that make up our consumption of poultry and that can explain why food inflation is high in Ghana."

In the USA, imports of poultry make up just 0.52% of their consumption and they consume close to 19.16 billion kilos of poultry. 


If take Brazil, they import just about 0.21% and they consume close to 10.84 billion kilos.

“In Ghana, we are consuming the least but our imports constitute 83.09% so when food inflation goes up, we should not be surprised,” he said.

Mr Korboe noted that maize was a major food for chickens so if the country wants to be competitive, then the prices of maize should be competitive.

“Maize constitutes about 55% of the cost of poultry feed so if you want to be competitive, your price of maize should be competitive and you can measure that through the productivity of maize production in the country,” he said.


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