The record of the first case and the subsequent spread of COVID-19 in Ghana in March 2020 led to actions taken by government to ensure that Ghanaians were protected. As part of the directives issued by Government to control the spread, borders were closed indefinitely, and a partial lockdown was issued which restricted movement within the country. Many businesses suffered a loss as a result. The cost of living also went up as farm products which were initially easier to get became scarce. Farmers who produced and exported perishable fruits and vegetables lost millions with the closure of the borders. This raised the question of how much produce is lost yearly.
According to the Programme and Country Representative for US AID Initiative and The Ghana Development and Value Chain Enhancement Project Research conducted in 2018, Ghana loses up to 50% of its perishable agricultural products annually due to the inability to store and process them. It is therefore advisable that the government puts measures in place to avoid the resultant financial loss.
With lack of facilities for preserving fruits and vegetables Ghanaians are forced to pay exorbitant amounts to buy fruits and vegetables especially during the offseason. As agriculture is a strong contributor to the national revenue, the government also loses a huge amount in revenue that occur as a result of agricultural products going stale. It also forfeits an entire avenue by ignoring the different options available for food processing.
Therefore, it is high time that the government examined its options and understood the loss involved due to a lack of proper food processing system in place.