Convention People’s Party (CPP) flagbearer Ivor Kobina Greenstreet has begun a sector-by-sector consultation on his policy for an almond-driven economy ahead of the 2016 polls.
Mr Greenstreet, during his turn at the IEA Evening Encounters, disclosed that the CPP government’s intention would be to make the commercial cultivation of the African tropical almond tree the pivot of the Ghanaian economy.
The CPP flagbearer was optimistic the cultivation of the tropical almond trees would generate as much as $300 billion in revenue. But in the party’s bid to prove to critics that his vision is not mere political talk, Mr Greenstreet has started engaging stakeholders on the economic implications of such a move.
Speaking to Class News on the sides of a forum at the Department of Food and Science Nutrition at the University of Ghana, Mr Greenstreet said the party had started its research in advance to prove to Ghanaians how serious it was about the idea.
“Even before the elections, you can see we are seriously engaging the relevant sectors on how we will carry out that work and so we want Ghanaians to know how serious we are about what it is we intend to do,” he stated.
“It is not that we are waiting for November or December before we start doing the research. Well in advance, we gave details to them at the platform that was offered to the party and we are continuing with the process of getting more information, more detail which we are presenting to them, letting them be aware of what we are doing so they take us even more seriously.”
According to Mr Greenstreet, if the United States can make billions from almond, so can Ghana.
“If you have another crop which is earning California, which supplies the world 82 per cent of its supply and California is earning billions upon billions of dollars and ours here is even better than their own, we shouldn’t just sit down and see that green gold lie fallow and doing nothing about it. We have to do it as well as the existing things that we are doing,” he noted.
Mr Greenstreet, however, said the CPP’s focus on an almond-driven economy did not mean other sectors will be ignored.
Citing the energy sector as an example, he said: “We have problems in the energy sector; even though the proposals the CPP gave are medium- to long-term, it doesn’t mean that short-term we will not do anything about it… Twenty-three per cent of electricity is lost in distribution, so even if we are able to reduce that to 10 per cent or five per cent, automatically you will know that you can use that to also reduce the price of electricity to the ordinary consumer. So, we are not saying that all we are coming to do is to grow almond, but we are telling you that we are creative. We can’t continue to do the same things as we are doing now because the same things we are doing now are not producing the results that we want as a nation.”