President Nana Akufo-Addo has launched another of his numerous ‘one-this-one-that’ promise – the One District-One Warehouse Policy.
The unveiling of the policy which is aimed at building a warehouse in each of the 216 districts in Ghana, was marked with a sod cutting ceremony for the construction of the first warehouse at Ejura in the Ashanti Region, on Wednesday, October 18. A new logo for the initiative was also launched at the event.
The launch of the one district-one warehouse project, was part of events that marked the 37th World Food Day by the United Nations themed, “Change the Future of Migration-Invest in Food Security and Rural Development”.
Nana Addo’s One District-One Warehouse Policy
President Nana Akufo-Addo during the launch of his ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative in April, announced that his government will build 1,000 metric tones capacity of warehouses in each of the 216 districts of Ghana.
The warehouses, according to the President, are meant to handle produce, as well as to store anticipated surpluses under the programme, thereby reducing post-harvest losses which hamper farmers efforts.
It is expected, according to government plans, that the warehouses when installed, will be leased out to private sector operators to process, store and market farm produce.
In addition to the warehouses, Nana Addo also assured that farms routes will be made accessible through well planned rail and road network to ensure that agricultural produce are easily made available to buyers and consumers.
The vision of his government, Akufo-Addo stressed, is to encompass the full agricultural value chain and create additional businesses and job opportunities in the areas of storage, transport, processing, packaging and marketing of agricultural produce, all of which will ensure that farmers as well as the fisher folk earn higher incomes.
How The Policy Will Improve Ghana’s Economy
President Nana Akufo-Addo during the launch, indicated that the One District-One Warehouse initiative marks the beginning of a drive to reduce huge food imports, rural/internal migration as well as eradicate poverty.
1. The One District-One Warehouse will Eradicate Poverty
The one district-one warehouse which forms part of the larger component of government’s Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) is targeted at making poverty a story of the past, especially among the farming community.
Farmers have often been faced with the challenge of lack of warehouses to store their produce after harvesting, causing huge post-harvest losses. This predicament have always compelled the poor farmers to sell off their produce at cheaper prices instead of losing them completely.
But the one district-one warehouse initiative comes to bring relief to the farmers by providing them with storage facilities which will enable them sell their produce at comfortable prices, store the surpluses and sell them in future to take care of their financial needs.
“They can store their produce in a more efficient and effective manner. They can keep the crop to meet international standards. Warehousing will promote non-traditional exports,” the President said.
2. It will Cut Food Imports and Increase Exports
President Akufo-Addo revealed that the objective of the Warehouse initiative is to increase production of staple foods like maize by 30%, rice by 49%, sorghum by 28% and soya bean by 25%. According to the President, his government will ensure that the warehouses are equipped with modern storage facilities including drying and freezing systems.
If this is effectively achieved, it will go a long way to reduce Ghana’s food imports and at the same time increase exports through proper storage of produce surpluses. It is also expected to ensure food security through an all-round-the year supply of food crops.
3. The Policy will Address the Issue of Rural Migration
It is also believed that dividends of the warehouse project will address the problem of internal/rural migration. This is because, when farmers are able to get the right value for their products, their standard of living will be greatly improved. This will in turn change the attitude of rural dwellers towards farming, thereby leading to a significant reduction in their massive influx to towns and cities.