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Sissala maize sellers stranded, forced to sell stock at cheaper prices over lack of buyers

Maize sellers in Sissala in the Upper West Region are facing challenges finding buyers for their produce weeks after harvest.

Despite the abundance of maize, known buyers are nowhere to be found, forcing sellers to offer their commodity at lower prices than expected.

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According to reports from the Ghana News Agency (GNA), maize sellers interviewed expressed their frustration at the situation.

Some have been unable to sell their stock, while others, in desperate need, are compelled to sell at prices below the standard rates.

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A prominent maize dealer, Alhaji Maize Adinan Bajin, revealed the decline in maize prices over time.

In December 2023, a bag of maize was sold for GH¢370.00, which subsequently dropped to GH¢365.00, then GH¢320.00, and currently stands at GH¢300.00.

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Traditionally, after Christmas, many buyers would flock to the Sissala area to purchase maize.

However, the current scenario is markedly different, with a notable absence of buyers.

Only one company remains willing to purchase maize, but at a reduced price, exacerbating the challenges faced by sellers.

“We can’t get buyers and as farmers, we need to sell and clear our new fields, buy fertilizer and prepare our new fields, but we are at a standstill and stranded,” Alhaji Bajin said.

“More challenged are the smallholder farmers and women who are having difficulty selling their maize due to the fewer buyers.”

“Looking at the amount of inputs that were used in producing the maize, it’s now difficult to break even, and this could make us indebted to our suppliers.”

He said he currently has 5,000 mini bags of maize that he has not been able to sell and called on the government to intervene by regulating the price, as they feared reducing their farm sizes next season if there was no support.

A woman maize farmer said, “I had to carry my two maize bags to the WARC shop, a maize aggregation company, to sell, but I was told I would receive my money the following day since the company’s mode of payment was mobile money and that had to be done the next day.”.

“A few years ago, buyers would trace to my house and even buy the maize and pay me cash; this situation is affecting us.”

Mr. Nabong Ayie, a farmer, said, “I have tried selling 2000 bags for the past two weeks and nobody is calling to buy. I need money badly to do other things, and now I have to wait until a buyer calls.”.

Mr. John Dimah, a former National Best Maize Farmer, bemoaned the absence of buyers, saying,This year we are stranded; I still have some 15,000 mini bags of maize unsold, hoping to get a buyer.”

He attributed the situation to disruptions in the Sahelian region, favourable growing conditions in Ghana’s Middle Belt, and the potential influx of foreign maize into the market.

He urged farmers to consider diversifying into crops such as sorghum, sesame, and soybeans.

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