The 2016 Flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is blaming the decline of the agriculture sector on the import of foreign food produce by the NDC government.
According to Nana Addo, the agric sector has recorded consistent decline under the NDC government as compared to the NPP administration under John Agyekum Kufuor.
He said during Kufuor’s regime, the bill for food import was at $600 million, but the NDC led by the late President John Mills and John Mahama, constantly criticized them. He however noted that the food import bill under the NDC administration has shot up to $1.6 billion.
“When Kufuor was leaving in 2008, the import food bill for our country was $600 million, Mills and Mahama criticized Kufuor for his performance and promised to reduce it.
Last year the food import bill of our country was $1.5 billion. We are now importing plantain into Ghana.” Nana Addo while speaking at a meeting of the NPP’s branch in France, blamed the situation on the continuous decline of the agric sector.
“Agriculture, which in Kufuor’s last year was growing at 7.4% in 2008, this year was 0.04%. These are the facts about Ghana, they are not my invention.
If you look in the official statistics, the budget statistics, everything that I’m telling you is there. And the mismanagement is the reason why today we are back with the IMF,” he added.
The NPP flagbearer also said the NPP is poised to return the country back to the path of progress and prosperity if given the nod in the November elections.
Nana Addo argued that President Mahama and his NDC government have been extremely inefficient in managing the affairs of the country. “We are going to change the fortunes of our country and put it back on the road of prosperity and progress,” Nana Addo added. Reduced budget for agric sector Ghana’s agric sector was in the past described as the mainstay of the Ghanaian economy, but that cannot be said of it in recent times.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Seth Twum- Akwaboah, had observed that the agricultural sector which was a major growth-pillar of the economy, has declined drastically, affecting the livelihoods of many Ghanaians.
He said the agriculture sectors share of the Domestic Gross Product (GDP) has dropped by 12.8 percent within the last seven years. “The contribution of the agricultural sector is likely to drop further in 2016 as government has cut its 2016 expenditure on the sector by Ghc million, despite growth in the sector stalling to 0.04 percent this year, when government had targeted 3.6 percent growth,” he added.
GAWU warns of food shortage
Meanwhile, the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU), is has warned of foodstuff shortages if pragmatic measures are not adopted to develop the sector.