The shortage of maize across the Northern Region and some other parts of the country is affecting business activities of poultry farmers, food vendors and beverage makers, among others.
The issue has resulted in an increase of maize prices from GH¢90 to between GH¢120-150, especially in the Tamale Metropolis. Prices are however expected to decline when the harvest time arrives.
Maize constitutes between 50 percent and 70 percent of chicken-feed in the country, while food vendors also depend on it for their food productions. There is also a high demand for maize for human consumption. This has resulted in an unhealthy competition for this important staple food and feed.
A visit to some farming communities and the central business area of Tamale metropolis by the B&FT showed that late harvesting of the crop has affected the market price and made the grain scarce to access.
Furthermore, the late rainfall has also affected growth of the crops, thereby compelling most farmers to keep the little they have for household use rather than sell it.
Some farmers on the stretch of Tamale-Yendi shared their sentiments with this paper.
Fatau Salifu, a maize, farmer said the rainfall pattern could not help him to cultivate on time, and the crops cultivated got submerged in water; which affected the yield.
Hajia Zenab Seidu, a food vendor, said the scarcity of maize has affected her food business, making it difficult to meet customers’ demand. She said: “It is difficult to get maize from the market except for buying small quantities from the petty traders, which is not enough for people like us who produce in large quantities,” she said.
Other farmers also complained of high post-harvest losses, mainly attributable to lack of modern techniques for farming, threshing, cleaning, grading and grain storage.