Agriculture
Agriculture

The seeming decline in the growth of the country’s Agricultural sector has become a burden for many analysts and the general populace as the country is dependent of the out of the sector to sustain lives and also the economy as revelations by some participants of the 2016 post budget forum has affirmed this trend.

Agriculture
Agriculture

According to them institutions, government and stakeholders in the sector must as a matter of urgency address the situation as the country already began experiencing effects of the weather pattern changes, a situation that has lowered the production of certain foods such as tomatoes, maize, garden eggs, onion among others.

They made the statements at a post-budget analysis forum organised by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) and the Ministry of Finance in Accra

Dr. Kwadwo Tutu, an Agricultural Economist from the University of Ghana, bemoaned the decrease in allocations to the agricultural sector in the 2016 budget, saying that developments in the sector showed that agriculture was not a priority to government.

The 2016 budget allocation for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is GH₵501,501,708.00 out of which the Government of Ghana (GoG)’s allocation is GH₵322,094,227.00, while the remainder is covered by Internally Generated Funds (IGF) and Development Partners.

Dr Tutu said considering the rates of inflation, the amount allocated to the sector by the GoG was inadequate.

Madam Catherine Amegatse, Principal Agricultural Engineer, who represented the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) at the forum, said the decrease would affect the work of MoFA, especially as it needed funds to undertake its projects and activities such as its agriculture mechanization drive.

She noted, however, that MoFA in spite of its constraints was working on several initiatives in its quest to mechanise agriculture. This includes a project to establish mechanization centres in all districts of the country to provide mechanization services to farmers who cannot afford to buy the machinery needed to mechanise the farm activities.

“So far there are 89 of these centres in 62 districts of the country,” she stated.

Mr. David Klotey Collison, Group Head, Budget Development of the Ministry of Finance, maintained however that agriculture was a priority of government as evidenced by the allocation to the sector under the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) of oil revenue, where agriculture received the highest allocation of about GH₵300 million.

He said the decrease in the GoG’s budgetary allocation cut across all sectors of the economy and was due to the high interest rate payments and amortization, as well as increases in compensation payments.

He added that the aspects of the allocation covered by Development partners was not always grants as some people thought, but loans taken by government for the sector and that also constitutes government allocation to the sector.

source- NewsGhana.com.gh

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.