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Dr Afriyie Akoto speaks to nation today on future of Ghana’s economy

The immediate past Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afri­yie Akoto, will today, deliver a public lecture at the University of Profession­al Studies, Accra (UPSA), on “The future of the economy of Ghana”.

The event will see the former agriculture minister share insights into building the agricultural sector into bedrock for financing the development of other sectors of the Ghanaian economy.

At an encounter with select­ed group of editors and senior journalists in Accra, on Saturday, Dr Akoto said the potential in the agricultural sector was huge, believing that the sector had the prospect to turn around the for­tunes of Ghana and permanently eliminate the syndrome of going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) whenever there was distress in the economy.

Dr Akoto who has set his eyes on the flagbearer position of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) but is yet to officially declare his intention to contest, noted that at the core of his vision for Ghana when given the nod to lead the party and subsequently becomes the President of the Republic, was the prioritisation of public resources for the agricultural sector.

He added, “Look at what our farmers have done with the Planting for Food and Jobs by providing them subsidies – seed and fertiliser? And it is not all the farmers. In 2018, I conducted an agricultural census to count the number of farmers in Ghana which has never been done for 38 years. We came up with 3.1 million professional farmers in this country. Planting for Food and Jobs by 2021 had benefitted 1.7 million professional farmers, which is half of the farmers’ pop­ulation and even with half, look at what has happened to Ghana’s agriculture.“

In 2021, agriculture had the highest growth in the 4th Republic, 8.4 per cent. In the eye of the storm of COVID-19 in the year 2020, when all countries were down, Ghana’s agricultural sector growth was 7.4 per cent.

The Planting for Food and Jobs was working and kept Ghana going.

"The Ghanaian farmer is a resource sitting and waiting to be exploited and for me, the future of this country is to give incen­tives to these farmers for them to produce the surpluses and foreign exchanges to finance our indus­trial development; our education, our hospitals, health and infra­structure and all those things. We can do it,” he said.

The public lecture today, he noted, would shed more light on the success story of the Planting for Food and Jobs and other initiatives executed as political head of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The event will also see him share with the public the potential that exists in other agricultural initiatives, which he believes could contribute immensely to turning around the fortunes of Ghana.

Credit: Ghanaian Times



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