The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has charged government to show how it will sustain its flagship Agriculture programme, –‘Planting for Food and Jobs.
The institute maintains that the Agriculture sector is critical; hence require sustainable plans to cushion the majority of Ghanaians who are farmers in rural areas.
The Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Afriyie Akoto announced the Planting for Food and Jobs programme as catalyst to reduce poverty among farmers by supplying them with seeds and creating a market for their produce.
But speaking to Citi Business News after the launch of a book titled “Ghana Panel on Economic Development” in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Director of ISSER, Professor Felix Asante stated that government must show how its plans to sustain the programme.
“So this year everybody is going into Agriculture or the young guys are going into Agriculture. So we will expect good harvest if we have good rainfall, what next, ? we need to start thinking of how we are going to control prices so that prices don’t fall because when prices fall it becomes a disadvantage for the farmers and we know the cyclical effects in the agriculture production,” he said.
Citing some examples, Prof. Asante stated that there is always a decline in agriculture produce anytime there is a bumper harvest due to price fall.
“Whenever we have a bumper harvest in a year, the people pull out the following year because of poor prices. This are issues that we need to tackle, if we lose sight of it, next year we will have to come with a different programme because farmers are going to pull out of the programme because they will have poor prices,” he warned.
He maintained that there must be a mechanism to particularly prevent the prices from falling.
The Ghanaian Panel on Economic Development (GPED) was initiated jointly by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the ISSER of the University of Ghana in 2011 to start a dialogue on the structural transformation of the Ghanaian economy.
The panel was set up to come up with strategies which promote economic development and growth but are at the same time socially inclusive and pro-poor.
Over the period from 2011 and 2014, various topic including, agriculture, informal economy, banking and finance, green economy, oil and gas, social protection, industrial policy, structural transformation, education, long term development planning, decentralization and infrastructural development were discussed and recommendations made for policy makers and other stakeholders.
The GPED was made up of distinguished personalities from academia, policy think tanks, government official politics, entrepreneurs and experts among others.
The publication is a collection of some of the papers that were presented at the panel discussions and it hoped that they are useful for policy makers, politicians and other stakeholders.