Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has told Ghanaians that it is unnecessary to store food during the two-week partial lockdown of Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi since Ghana is not at war and there is enough food for everyone.
At a press briefing by the government on Monday, March 30, 2020, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said: “There is enough food in the system, people do not need to stock up because this is not a war situation.”
“We are talking about just two weeks and if we are successful with what we want to do, within the period of two weeks, we will be back to normal”, he said.
“There is no need to stock up”, he stressed, adding: “If there was not enough in the system and we had to wait for imports, then I would have said you would have to cover yourself and the family but there is absolutely no need because we have more than enough to feed the people of this country.”
“This is only a two-week hiatus and I do not believe it requires a behavior of mad rush,” Dr. Afriyie Akoto reiterated.
The Agric minister’s concerns are similar to that of the Minister for the Interior, Mr. Ambrose Dery, who, on Saturday, described as “unnecessary” the mad rush for food, provisions, and gas following President Nana Akufo-Addo’s announcement of a partial lockdown in some regions as part of measures to alleviate the spread of the coronavirus which has, so far, killed five people out of the one hundred and fifty-two cases.
In his national address on Friday night, the President said: “This, in essence, means that everyone resident in these areas must stay at home for the next two weeks”.
“However, if you must go out, it must only be to get essential items such as food, medicine, water, undertake banking transactions or to use public toilet facilities. But as much as possible, stay at home”.
“There shall be”, the President noted, “during this period, no intercity movement of vehicles and aircraft for private or commercial purposes for the areas affected by the restrictive measures except for vehicles and aircraft providing essential services and those carrying cargo. Riders of motorbikes are not allowed to carry any additional person and all intracity passenger vehicles such as trotros and taxis must reduce the number of passengers in order to observe appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols. Additionally, all commercial vehicle stations shall observe appropriate hygiene protocols and social distancing”.
He added that markets are to ensure social distancing and augmented hygiene protocols.
“In any event, only persons involved in the food value chain can operate in the markets during this period”.
However, he noted, “individuals and institutions providing the following services shall be exempted from the restrictions: members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary; production, distribution and marketing of food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper, and plastic packages; environmental and sanitation activities; staff of VALCO, road, and railway construction workers, mining workers, fisherfolk, members of the security agencies assigned lawful duties, the staff of ECG, GWCL, telcos, e-commerce, and digital service providers and staff of fuel stations”.