Business News of Thursday, 14 March 2013
Source: Joy Online
The Member of Parliament for Kwadaso in the Ashante Region, Dr Afriyie Osei Akoto has criticized what he said is the inadequate allocation of funds to the agricultural sector by government.
Government said it will set aside 2.2 percent of the budget to support Ghanaian farmers. But the Kwadaso MP says this is not enough and could rather worsen the plight of some 4.5 million farmers.
He was contributing to the debate on the Budget on Thursday, which focused a lot more on the agricultural sector and trade.
Joy FM parliamentary correspondent Elton John Brobbey reported that the GHC340.8 million the government allocated to the sector according to Dr Akoto, cannot turn around agriculture in the northern Ghana alone, not to talk of the whole country.
He also condemned instances where funds meant for farming activities are not made available at critical months of the farming season, which he partly blamed for the stagnant growth in basic staple food such as cereals, root and tuber amongst others.
He noted that much attention had not been given to rice production accounting for the sharp increase in the importation of the product from 395,000 metric tonnes in 2008 to over 500,000 metric tonnes in 2011, which he said is a threat to food security in the country.
Dr Akoto is therefore not looking forward to any significant growth in the agricultural sector this year; he however asked the government to do more to improve the sector.