'Agric Sector Is Sick; Gov’t Needs To Be Honest With Ghanaians’ – Wa East MP
The Deputy Ranking Member on the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament, Dr. Godfred Seidu Jasaw has called out President Nana Akufo-Addo on some claims he made about the agriculture sector while delivering the State of the Nation address on
Wednesday.The MP for Wa East said the picture the President painted on the sector is inaccurate. “The situation, contrary to what he told us, is dire,” he added. “One of such untruths the President told Ghanaians was how successful the Planting for Food and Jobs programme has been. This is a
hyped programme that is being pushed down our throats, at least in the last 5 years. We were also told that production has increased from 1.8 million metric tonnes to 3 million metric tonnes. The impression we get here is that there is a lot of food in the system, which is not the case. Food
inflation has shot up. If indeed goods were available, we wouldn’t have seen prices skyrocket this way.” He added that the Planting for Food and Jobs programme is a “sick programme, and government needs to start speaking truthfully about its state to help in finding a solution to it.”
He believes the first step to take in improving the rather ‘sick’ agriculture sector is for government to have honest and open conversations with Ghanaians about its true state.
What did Akufo-Addo say?
President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has said his flagship Planting For Food and Jobs programme, one of the major policies of the NPP government, has brought about positive transformations in the lives of Ghanaian farmers. Addressing Parliament, he said, “There is no doubt
that but for the vigorous interventions we have made in agriculture in the past five years, which have made us more self-reliant in our food needs, our country would have been at much greater risk as the fallout from the dramatic worldwide increases in freight charges hit prices in our
markets and on our supermarket shelves”. He also said the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project has resulted in the availability of a total of 13,190 hectares of additional irrigable land, through the rehabilitation of Tono, Kpong Left Bank and Kpong Irrigation Schemes, for rice and vegetable
cultivation. He noted that the scheme has brought about improved rice yields, increasing from 4.5 tons per hectare to 5.5 tons per hectare, resulting in increased production and growth in farm incomes. He further indicated it has benefitted some fourteen thousand, 14,264 smallholder beneficiaries directly, 40,000 jobs along several value chain activities generated from the irrigation schemes.