The advent of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) tends to produce wholesome foods which in turn might increase the price of foods. Thanks to the development of AFCTA Ghanaians are most likely to buy farm produce at exorbitant prices.
This was divulged during the Ghana Economic Forum 2020 with the theme: Resetting the Economy Beyond COVID-19; Building Economic Resilience and Self-sufficiency at Kempinski Hotel, Accra.
On the break-out session, experts from all walks of discipline namely academia, agribusiness, financial institution, and consultancy deliberated on the topic; building sustainable agro-economic models for Ghana’s self-sufficiency, Mr. Robert Dovlo, CEO of REEL consult said that Ghanaians must prepare to pay a higher price for food commodities.
According to Mr. Dovlo, to build a sustainable agro-economy, the advent of AFCFTA requires Ghanaians to protect the agribusiness sector since it is one of the models of paying relatively expensive prices for food commodities to enhance quality and to upscale production in order to compete with other African countries.
“AFCFTA is a good opportunity to revamp our economy but we must be prepared to pay higher prices for our food commodities because our producers would have to upscale production, and add value to their products to meet the competitive market. As such it would underline agribusiness’ growing reputation for resilience and once again demonstrates its effectiveness at the AFCFTA”, he underscored.
The CEO of the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, Mr. Anthony Morrison added that Ghanaians must be prepared to pay a higher amount of money to purchase food commodities to leverage on production with competitors in terms of quality goods.
He expounded the need for Ghana to mitigate selling its raw materials and do value addition to its raw products for higher income. “As a country, we cannot survive the AFCFTA with other African countries by continuing selling our raw materials, we need to do value addition to our products to meet continental standards”, he said.
Withal, he said Ghana imports about 70% of human resources to the sector which makes production costly. The high cost of agricultural experts from other countries he added drains farmers’ resources leaving them with nothing at the end of production. Therefore, to ensure sustainability and economic self-sufficient Ghanaians should prepare to pay high for food.