Internal marketing systems for basic foodstuffs and Government Involvement in the Central Region of Ghana (1970-1973)
View PDF Version
In the past decade or so there has been emphasis on increase in agriculture production in Ghana while ignoring the fact that the extra production may not reach the consumer because of marketing and distribution problems the alleged inefficient way in which intermediaries (private) tend to handle produce. To overcome this problem, corporations like the Ghana Food Distribution and the Grains Board were set up as corporations under the Ministry of Agriculture. The principle objectives of the above-named corporations to keep down the prices of basic foodstuffs and ensuring their regular supply are far from realisation. We cannot simply argue that even though agricultural output has increased the drastic cut in imports of agricultural produce and products from abroad causes prices of commodities to increase. We can only say that if total production of produce has in fact increased by 30% as is maintained in certain circles, this should offset the cut in imports since the relative increase in domestic production is higher than the relative decrease in imports. Ceteris paribus the relative prices of produce should be on the downward trend. The inefficient way in which the main government food distribution organisation goes about its marketing has much to do with this. For one thing, there has not been adequate preparation for marketing the relative increase in food production. Suggested improvements in the organisational set-up of the corporation have so far ended up in the lockers of some officials without any follow-up. This is partly due to over-centralisation at the national headquarters of the corporation and the constant counter-measures of the Ministry of Agriculture under rwhich this corporation falls. A relative-increase in produce which-may not actually benefit-agroallied processing industries or final consumerscl-early calls for a systematic study of human and non-human factors which influence the smooth flow of commodities. There is often total confusion (due to lack of basic marketing information) among government or non-government agencies as to what really constitutes the marketing problem. All the information which is systematically available on marketing are the wholesale and retail price information given by the Ministry of Agriculture's Economic and Marketing-Divisions. Further, systematic information on the basic structure or types of intermediaries who operate within the market is not available. As has been recently pointed out - while some maintain that transportation is the main bottleneck, others believe that the main impediment is the system of private intermediaries. This assertion lends support to our statement that marketing problems have not yet been idelntified, let alone studied.
- cape coast
- marketing system