Tackling food inflation, ensuring food sufficiency: Manifestos must have transformative agric policies
• Kwesi Korboe — CEO, GIRSAL Ltd

Tackling food inflation, ensuring food sufficiency: Manifestos must have transformative agric policies

An expert in the agricultural value chain wants political parties to make clear in their manifestos how they intend to better transform the agricultural sector to make the country self-sufficient in food production and address high food inflation.


In the next few weeks, the political parties are expected to release their manifestoes at a time when the prices of foodstuff on the market are escalating and eating deep into the disposable income of workers.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL),  Kwesi Korboe, said the focus on food production should not be on every agricultural produce but a critical few that can help the country produce in abundance to meet local demand while the excess is exported to earn some foreign exchange revenue.

“A deliberate focus on large-scale production of certain critical crops will be essential. They have to clearly show the electorate that in their manifestoes, with a focus on a few crops, and show how to produce on a very large scale. 

We tend to produce everything in piecemeal and it does not help us,” he said in a brief interview with the Graphic Business shortly after the second quarter Graphic Business/Stanbic Breakfast Meeting held on Tuesday at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra and noted that the narrative must change.

It was to elicit his opinion on what the agricultural policies in the manifestos of the political parties should entail.

On the theme: “Enhancing agriculture sufficiency to tackle food inflation”, the thought-leadership programme which attracted agricultural industry players, academics and economists, among others, aimed to elicit views on what must be done to tackle food inflation while making the country self-sufficient in food production.

Clear focus

Mr Korboe said “if it’s maize, let’s do that on a very large scale because maize, for instance, has a direct linkage to poultry”. 

Further explaining his point, Mr Korboe said “while we feed ourselves with the maize locally, we can also expand our poultry sector because there will be enough to feed that industry and we will not have to spend more on foreign exchange to import feed and chicken for consumption.”

Last year, Ghana’s chicken import (fresh, chilled and frozen chicken) increased marginally to GH¢1.9 billion as against GH¢1.7 billion the previous year. Although the value in dollar terms reduced from $217 million to $171 million, experts still believe there is more room for improvement if the policies are well-focused and thought through.

Mr Korboe argued that considering how maize is used in the country, for instance, producing on a large scale will help tackle a major challenge in the country’s food production chain.

“This is what I want to see in the manifestos of the parties because it is very important”. 


“Again, the agricultural policies must be well spelt out with pragmatic measures on how to execute such an agenda,” he said.

Mr Korboe reminded the parties that governments do not execute agricultural policies but rather the private sector. 

“So they must be clear on how they intend to empower the private sector to ensure that the large scale and well-focused agricultural policies are implemented flawlessly to tackle the problems at stake,” he said.

Mr Korboe said governments must listen to the private sector players in the agricultural value chain, hear them and ensure that the right enabling environment is provided for them more pragmatically.

Negative narrative

Much as the country considers agriculture as the backbone of the economy and an important contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), over the years, the sector which contributes significantly to job creation has been starved of the needed investments to fuel growth. 

The country has been implementing various policies on agriculture, such as the Planting for Food and Jobs policy, for years, but very little result has been shown to justify the huge investments.

The Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods requires that governments across Africa devote at least 10 per cent of their annual budget to the agriculture sector. 

Unfortunately, over the years, this has not been the norm because governments devote a paltry amount, equivalent to just between four and five per cent of their annual budget, to the sector, raising issues about their commitment to a sector which holds the key to greater transformation. 


As a country like Ghana which boasts large arable lands for food production, many have wondered why food continues to be one of the major drivers of inflation in Ghana. 

The country’s economy has been battling high inflation peaked at 54.1 per cent in December 2022, with food inflation consistently identified as a major driver.

Much as food inflation has been declining month on month to about 22.6 per cent as of May, this year, experts want more done to bring it lower to impact the prices of agricultural produce on the market.

The Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, has indicated that holistically increasing food production in the country will not necessarily slow food inflation.


He noted that should the government focus on the major crops that impact the rise in food inflation and increase their productivity, then the country will begin to witness an appreciable reduction in the food inflation rate as well as the overall consumer inflation in the country.

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