PRESIDENT JOHN Dramani Mahama has refuted the opposition New Patriotic Party's (NPP) assertion that the agricultural sector's performance under his watch has declined saying it is a misinformation calculated to deceive the public.
Rather, he said, the sector has performed creditably according to statistics released by the by Ghana Statistical Service contrary to what was being peddled. He said the sector's decline to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should not be taken as decline saying that is normal in every developing country.
President Mahama debunked the opposition party's claim yesterday at Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region during the 32nd national farmers' day award which was themed, 'Agriculture: A Business Response to Economic Growth.' According to him, contrary to the assertion that the agric sector has declined, the statistical service official figures showed that the sector grew by 2.5% in 2015 and has even performed much better in 2016. “This is because the first quarter growth alone of 2016 is 3.8% whilst second quarter is 4.1%” asking “how can somebody said the sector is declining?”
President Maham said various policy interventions, projects and programmes that were being churned out by his government in the agric sector were aimed at making Ghana food sufficient and a net exporter to the West Africa sub-region. He stressed that Ghana is already self sufficient in crops like maize, cassava, plantain, and yam adding by 2020 Ghana will be a net exporter in rice due to various interventions to increase rice production.
He, however, accepted the fact that the fishery and aquaculture sector is not performing well, as well as oil palm production.
In all 83 farmers were awarded in various categories such as fisheries, roots and tubers, cereals, cocoa, livestock, agric extension among others.
The best farmer for 2016 was 42 years old Robert Crentsil from the Central Region who will receive a fully furnished 3 bedroom house to be built at a place of his choice by the Agric Development Bank.
The first runner up was 39 year old Ariku Martin Akorugo from the Upper West Region who also took home a tractor whilst James Koranteng, the second runner-up from the Eastern Region, received a double cabin pick-up for his prize.