Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, said government would continue with its policy to enhance the local production of commodities in order to reduce the import bill.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Seth E. Terkper Tuesday morning presented the 2014 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament.
Mr Seth E. Terkper

In 2013, import of rice, fish, poultry and tomato products amounted to almost $1 billion.

In this direction, government introduced the revamping of the Broiler Programme aimed at reducing the importation of chicken by 40 per cent by the end of 2016.

He said under the programme, being implemented by Ministry of Food and Agriculture in collaboration with Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association, 20 million broilers would be produced and this would result in 60,000mt of Poultry meat.

It is expected that Ghana would save about $132 million and reduce poultry import by 38.9 per cent.

The Finance Minister, delivering the 2015 budget, in Accra, said during the year, government initiated the process of modernising the mode of grains and tuber trading as announced in the 2014 Budget.

He noted that two new markets for the trading of agriculture commodities were started, a taskforce was set up and the services of a consultant procured to provide technical advice for the implementation.

Mr Terkper said in the area of fish production, government would rationalise the fisheries regulations and EU issues to enable the country accrue more than $ 500 million in export earnings in 2015 and beyond.

He said the tuna industry would also be revamped to increase foreign exchange earnings for Ghana.

The export of other fishery products including smoked fish, tilapia and ornamental fish would earn more than $ 100 million as additional export revenue for the country.

He noted that in fulfilment of the promise to construct more community day senior high schools, government began the building of the first 73 senior high schools in some districts across the country.

In 2015, the second phase of the construction of the community day senior high school project would commence with an additional 50 Schools.

Mr Terkper said government is committed to making secondary education progressively free starting from 2015/2016 academic year and in this regard, in 2015, government would absorb Ghana Education Service-approved examination, library, entertainment, Students Representative Council, science development, sports, culture, and internet fees charged to secondary level students. This is expected to benefit about 367,565 day students in the 2015/2016 academic year.

GNA

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