The Vice Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), says one of the reasons why Ghana’s agricultural growth is declining is the low budgetary allocation to the sector.
According to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, since 2009, the budgetary allocated to the Agric Ministry has been reducing.
“The paltry allocation to the agric sector is one of the reasons it is not doing well. It was 3% of the annual budget in 2009, in 2012, it reduced to 1.9%, in 2013, it went down to 1.03% and in 2015, 1.1% of the budget was allocated to both Agric and Fisheries ministries,” he said.
Dr. Bawumia’s criticisms come as a reacting to the 2016 budget presented by the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper in Parliament on November 13, 2015.
He has compared the performance of the NPP’s eight years in government to the seven-year rule of the current National Democratic Congress.
He drew parallels between Ghana under the pre-oil Kufuor/Aliu Mahama era and the current Ghana with oil under the Mills/Mahama government.
The renowned Economist also said there has been a steady increase in the importation of food products such as rice, cooking oil among others under the NDC government.
According to Dr. Bawumia, “The NDC government imposed a levy on import of basic farm inputs and this is the first time in the economic history of Ghana,” adding that these inputs are attracting import duties.
Hammering on the numerous problems facing the agricultural sector of Ghana, Dr Bawumia alleged that whilst many agricultural extension officers are nearing retirement, recruitment of new officers has been frozen under the current government.
“Under the NDC administration, the management of cocoa has been nothing short of a disaster,” Dr. Bawumia added.
He said the NPP if voted into power will make the agricultural sector of Ghana a money-making sector.
He added that taxes on products will be reduced to make Ghana one of the most businesses friendly countries in Africa.