National Food Buffer Stock Company (Nafco) To Develop 5-Year Strategic Plan
The Director-General of State Interest and Governance Authority (SIGA), Mr. Asamoah-Boateng, has opened a three-day strategic retreat of the National Food Buffer Stock Company.
The 3 day retreat in Akosombo was set out by the National Buffer Stock Company Limited to develop a 5-year strategic plan.
He commended the board for initiating the strategic drive, and was optimistic that other SOEs would emulate NAFCO. He reiterated government resolve to no longer countenance expenditure on state enterprises that fail to be productive.
The strategic document is expected to define a clearer role, roadmap, quantify intended strategies and operations and recommend possible funding options and sources.
Scaling up operational efficiency
The plan is expected to scale up operational efficiency in executing its mandate as well as enhance its businesses ostensibly to ensure an all-round growth.
The value propositions of the five strategic plans are food availability, price stabilisation, food security, financial security of local farmers and food nutrition.
The strategic goals are to increase the financial resources available to NAFCO, increase cereal and grains stock reserves, reduce price volatility for cereal and grains and improve nutrition through the availability of cereals and diverse food in an equitable manner.
NAFCO to function well
It is expected that the five-year strategic plan will enable NAFCO to function well, and more importantly, perform its mandate in excellence.
Funding is critical to the 5-year strategic plan
Critical to the five-year strategic plan is funding, and this has become necessary following the inability of government, through the sector Ministry of Food and Agriculture, to either place it on state subvention or recapitalise it.
Capitalised funding of GH₵15m 11 years ago
The last time the company was offered major financial support was 11 years ago when it received its capitalised funding of GH¢15 million to facilitate its establishment.
Challenges of funding strategic food stocks
Currently, NAFCO is able to survive through its commercial operations but its ability to fulfil its other mandate of keeping and managing strategic food stocks for the country has been met with the challenge of lack of funds, which successive governments have failed to provide.
NAFCO holding ECOWAS strategic food reserve
Interestingly, NAFCO has, for the past six years, been holding strategic food reserve for the sub-regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), under its Regional Food Security Reserve Programme.
3-day retreat at Akosombo
A three-day retreat for board members, senior management and selected stakeholders has been held at Akosombo in the Eastern Region to kick-start the formulation of the strategic plan.
The retreat was engineered by the Board Chairman of NAFCO Hon. Henry Nana Boakye and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NAFCO, Mr. Hanan Abdul-Wahab.
The retreat was attended by other stakeholders such as the Parliamentary Select Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises; the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs; Ministry of Public Enterprises; Ministry of Education; Ghana Education Service; SIGA, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the management and board members of NAFCO.
Some personalities who represented the institutions are the Minister of Public Enterprise, Hon. Joseph Cudjoe; Deputy Minister of Education, Gifty Twum Ampofo; Director-General of State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), Hon. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, and Mr. Asante Krobea, Technical Advisor to the Minister for Food and Agriculture; John Osei-Frimpong, MP for Abirem, Emmanuel Anhwere, and Dr Seidu Jasaw.
“The NAFCO story over the past five years is worth studying. Without state funding or support, they have been able to turn around an almost collapsed entity into a profit-making one and this shows that once some support is given, the sky could be the limit. It is a state agency to watch,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of NAFCO, Mr. Hanan Abdul-Wahab, said though some successes had been attained over the years, there was the need for a well-thought-out plan to consolidate the gains.
Board helping to address strategic security mandate
Board Chairman Mr. Henry Nana Boakye said aside from driving the attainment of the strategic plan, the board is engaging government at the highest level to address militating challenges against NAFCO’s strategic security mandate to the people of Ghana.
NAFCO was incorporated under the Companies Code of Ghana, 1963, Act 179 on March 11, 2010.
It is a limited liability company, wholly owned by the Government of Ghana with the mandate to guarantee an assured income to farmers by providing a minimum guaranteed price and ready market: to mop up excess produce from all farmers in order to reduce post-harvest losses resulting from spoilage due to poor storage, thereby protecting farm incomes.
NAFCO also purchases, sells, preserves and distributes foodstuffs produced in the country ostensibly to ensure stability in demand and supply.
NAFCO remains a delicated state establishment in promoting food security in Ghana.
It would be recalled that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant lockdown, NAFCO played a critical role in government’s provision of cooked and dry foods to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Ghanaians.
Also, NAFCO has significantly contributed to the successful implementation of government’s flagship programme, Free SHS, specifically in the area of feeding of 1.2 million pupils daily.