Politics

Afriyie Akoto assures to transform Ghana’s agric to full potential

Afriyie Akoto assures to transform Ghana’s agric to full potential

A Former Minister of Food and Agriculture, and Presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has promised to transform the country’s agriculture to become the strongest potential in halting poverty when elected as President of the Repub­lic in December 2024.

His policies and pro­grammes, according to him, would guarantee food and nutrition security, as well as generating the necessary resources for the development of other sectors of Ghana’s economy including industry, health, education and infrastructure in the medium to long term.

“Under my tenure as president, the Economic Management Team headed by the Vice President, shall be a newly created agricultural management team (AMT) chaired by the President himself to drive agricultural development. The AMT shall comprise seven ag­ric-related ministries, namely: Food & Agriculture, Finance, Trade & Industry, Lands & Natural Re­sources, Transport, Local Govern­ment & Rural Development, and Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation,” he said.

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Dr Akoto said this last Friday at a public lecture to climax the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Mensah Sarbah Hall at the Univer­sity of Ghana.

He added that his tenure shall appropriately fund the research endeavours of the diverse national agricultural research institutions, including the universities, in areas such as agronomy, extension, plant breeding, integrated soil fertility management, integrated pest and disease management, post-harvest management and climate-smart.

Dr Akoto said these initiatives were needed following the global tensions over the Russia-Ukraine War, and the recent threat to grains supply from Ukraine to Africa which threat­ens Ghana and the continent’s food security outlook.

He said there was the need to implement medium term poli­cies and programmes within our economy to enhance food secu­rity since the performance of the other natural resource activities like mining, oil and gas had been below expectations.

He explained that the other po­tential contributions of our natural resources to the development of the economy had been sharply curtailed by three key issues.

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Dr Akoto mentioned unfavour­able long-term contracts which were almost impossible to alter; retention abroad of most of the export proceeds and; majority ownership held by foreign inter­ests.

“I must reiterate here that “Agriculture is the means to our end”. The Tree Crop Devel­opment Authority, The Grains Development Authority and the other commodity institutions can together substantially expand our export earning capacity to fund industrial development and finance social sectors including health, education, housing and roads.

Brazil, China, Malaysia and Thailand are recent examples of agricultural success stories in driv­ing economic transformation,” Dr Akoto said.

He said whilst the threats of the looming global crises unfolded, it became increasingly
clear that Ghana’s political independence, economic transformation and the survival of its youthful population would depend on robust economy that had agriculture as uncondi­tional priority.

Highlighting on some of his achievement at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, he said, he made significant investment in farm inputs to increase agricultural productivity that raises incomes of farmers, and achieves national food security.

“In the period 2017 to 2021, the government invested GH¢2.6 billion in subsidies to procure and distribute 1.4 million MT of fer­tiliser and 93,192 MT of improved seeds to over 1.7 million farmers.

This investment generated farm output worth GH¢47.5 billion at the farm gate. This presents a huge economic rate of return on public expenditure under the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme,” Dr Akoto said.

Source: www.spotonnews.net

Joyceline Natally Cudjoe

An Entertainment Columnist, Content Writer, Blogger, Novelist, Poet, and a Publicist. For business or story tip off, contact me on +233 24 646 6866 or email: [email protected]

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