Ghana Agriculture News-Agriculturist and politician Dr. Abu Sakara has called on the government of Ghana to support the farmer as a means of driving down the country’s food import bill.
In a write up he posted on a whatsApp platform of the Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA), Dr. Sakara shot down the suggestion that government’s flagship Agricultural policy; Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) is the solution to the country’s rising food import bill.
“Please don’t say PFJ because it is also turning out to be one of those programs where most of the money is spent on administrative and overhead costs not direct capital investments on farms and value chains”, he wrote.
Dr. Sakara advises that the food import bill will come down when more expenditure is directed towards the agriculture value chain enterprises.
He accuses the government of “sheltering banks and everybody else apart from the farmer” and suggests that interest rates be lowered for agricultural lending.
Ghana’s Agriculture sector growth has been sluggish for several years with a rising food import bill of 2.4 billion Cedis.
The former Presidential Candidate of Ghana’s Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) believes a lot of determination is required to make meaningful gains in Ghana’s Agriculture sector.
“When Dangote and other wealthy Nigerians put their money in Nigeria’s agriculture they turned things around and reduced rice imports and also reduced import of malt for the beer industry. Which $ multi-millionaire Ghanaians have put their money in agriculture in a significant way beyond boutique prestige projects? When they eventually do that, we will not need conferences with impotent recommendations to force policy makers to make and implement the right decisions on agricultural policy. The wealthy elite will force the politicians to make conducive policy changes because they are also the politician’s campaign financiers”, Dr. Sakara observed.
What do you think about this piece? Share your comment in the comment thread and share the story using the social media buttons above. Thank you.