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Poor Budget Allocation Killing Agriculture Sector

Nana Apedwahene, the regional Chairman for the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen (GNAFF), has bemoaned over what he described as continuous decline in the budget allocations to the Agricultre sector. According to him, the youth are by this happening are losing interest to go into agriculture industry.

In his words, Ghanaian farmers contribute about half the employment rate of the country but always suffer poor budget allocation.

“Farmers contribute about 50% of the employment rate of the country but there’s poor budget allocation to improve the sector.”

Nana Apedwahene revealed that GHc 395.19m and GHc 335.14m was allocated to the Agriculture Ministry in 2015 and 2016 Annual Budgets respectively.  Meanwhile, he further quoted GHc 450.33m as budget for the sector in the year 2017.

The GNAFF chairman has alleged farmers who are on the ground receive peanut of the budget allocation yet policy makers portray Agric as the backbone of the country and expect farmers to produce to feed the local industries.

“Farmers can’t feed the 1-District-1 Factory initiative with this poor budget allocation we receive from policy makers,” he told Austin Ofori on Rite FM Agric Forum.

In most cases, policy makers draws huge budget plan for the various sectors with the Agric industry included but on the contrary don’t work with the estimated amount on the budget.

Official statistics show the Agriculture sector employed almost 56 per cent of the total population.

In 2016 budget, allocation to the sector declined from GHc 395.19 million in 2015 to GHc 355.14 million, representing a decrease of about 10.1 percent (GHc 40 million)

The sector contributed 22.4 per cent to GDP in 2013 but declined 21.5 per cent in 2014. Again in 2010, the sector contributed 29.9 per cent to GDP; declined to 25.6 per cent in 2011 and further to 22.7 per cent in 2012.

However growth in 2015 was 0.04 per cent. Also in 2015 budget statement, the agriculture sector showed signs of recovery, growing from 2.3 per cent in 2012 to 5.2 percent in 2013 and then to 5.3 per cent in 2014.

The growth was on account of the forestry and logging sub-sectors in which growth rebounded from a negative 0.04 per in 2013 to a 16.5 per cent in 2014 up from 5.8 per cent positive growth in 2013.

The Crops sub-sector, however, experienced a decline, growing at 3.6 per cent down from 5.9 per cent in 2013.

Source: Joyce Bedeley/ritefmonline.org

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