On the occasion of the 2015 Farmers’ Day celebrations, I join many other Ghanaians in expressing our sincere appreciation to our farmers and fisherfolk for their hard work and commitment to the cause of building Mother Ghana over the years.
The role of agriculture in transforming any economy and nation is vital. If we are to make any meaningful change in the lives of the people, our efforts must be directed at this sector. The majority of people can only feel a change in their lives when we develop agriculture rapidly.
However, the agriculture sector has been neglected under the NDC government over the last 7 years. Budgetary allocation to the sector has been reducing consistently – from 3% in 2009 to 1.1%, as contained in the 2016 budget. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that growth rate in the sector, which stood at 7.4% at the end of 2008, when the NPP left office, is now a dismal 0.04%.
With modernisation and diversification of agriculture being a key component of the NPP’s 4-Point Agenda for the development of Ghana, I wish to assure our farmers and fisherfolk that the blessing of oil will not distract an Akufo-Addo-led NPP government from making the agricultural sector more sophisticated, more productive and more efficient. Access to finance, improved training and technology, reducing post-harvest losses, extending feeder roads and farm tracts to as many farm gates as possible, increasing irrigation facilities, and guaranteeing markets for our farm produce are going to be the nucleus of this approach.
I congratulate all award winners in this year’s National Best Farmers’ Day Awards and I hope that your exploits and achievements would be an inspiration for others to the benefit of the Ghanaian people.
God bless our farmers and fisherfolk.
God bless Ghana.
2016 NPP Presidential Candidate