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2016 Supplementary Budget Afriyie Akoto accuses gov't of not committing resources into agriculture

The government has revised growth rate in the Agric sector to 2.4%, but Dr Akoto said the revised figure in the scheme of things is disappointing.

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Afriyie Akoto play

Afriyie Akoto

The Minority spokesperson on Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has blamed the decline in the agricultural sector on the lack of investment by government.

Reacting to Seth Terkper's supplementary budget statement to MPs on Monday, Dr Akoto said:"They [government] are not putting in enough public resources into agriculture. That is the whole point. There isn't enough investment going into agriculture. The allocation of budgetary resources going into agriculture is has been cut from 3.5% when they came into power to 1.5% in the last two budgets."

READ MORE: $100 million earmarked for agriculture - BoG governor

The government has revised growth rate in the Agric sector to 2.4%, but Dr Akoto said the revised figure in the scheme of things is disappointing.

"For me in the area of agriculture, the revised growth of 2.4 for 2015 is very significant because the first estimate came with 0.04 % which is virtually no growth [in] the sector.

"Now it has been revised for the second time to 2.4% and 2.4% to be honest in the scheme of things is very very disappointing," said Dr Akoto.

“The fact of the matter is that the rate of growth of agriculture has been declining year by year, and yet it is still the biggest in terms of employment generation, and in terms of the involvement of our people in economic activity,” he added.

Another area, the government has failed, Dr Akoto said, is achieving the Maputo target.

The Maputo target for African countries is 6.1 % per year for agriculture. However, Dr Akoto noted that since the NDC gave into office eight years ago, they have not been able to meet the target.

He also savaged government food import bill, revealing that $2.1 billion was used to import eight food items into the country.

READ MORE:100,000 youth to be engaged in the agric sector

“Our food import bill is going through the roof” he said, adding that research showed that in 2016, Ghana “imported 2.1 billion dollars of food into the country, for only 8 food items namely rice , fish, poultry and cooking oil among others, which are basic items our farmers can produce," Dr Akoto said.

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