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Peasant farmers caution successive govts against pursuing self-serving political policies

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The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) is concerned by the failure of successive administrations to develop and carry out national agricultural policies. Speaking with Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, Dr. Charles Nyaaba, the Head of Programmes and Advocacy at the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), expressed some uneasiness about political parties consistently pursuing their interests and implementing manifestos rather than national consultative policy documents that promote growth.

This could be blamed, largely, for the lack of proper development in agriculture. Dr. Nyaaba’s comments were in relation to the government’s plan to boost the local productive capacity. 

It would be recalled that in the 2023 Budget Statement and Financial Policy, the government stated, “to boost local productive capacity, we will among others: cut the imports of public sector institutions that rely on imports either for inputs or consumption by 50% and will work with the Ghana Audit Service and the Internal Audit Agency to ensure compliance; support the aggressive production of strategic substitutes, including the list disclosed at the President’s last address to the nation; Support large-scale agriculture and agribusinesses interventions through the Development Bank Ghana and ADB Bank; introduce policies for the protection and incubation newly formed domestic industries to allow them to make the goods produced here competitive for local consumption and also for exports. To promote exports, we will among others: expand our productive capacity in the real sector of the economy and actively encourage the consumption of locally produced rice, poultry, vegetable oil and fruit juices, ceramic tiles among others.”

While welcoming the new policies, Dr. Nyaaba explained that the country could have been better off if successive governments had implemented national policies. 

“Ghana, we have a lot of policies, especially when it comes to food and agriculture. What we have observed throughout the years is that these policies are not what we work with. We rather work with the political party’s manifestos or we will work with the government in power’s agenda. When you go to MoFA we have the Medium Term Agriculture Investment Plan (METASIP), which has never been implemented and we are focusing on planting for food and jobs. PFJ is not part of MoFa’s medium term development plans,” he said. 

To prevent similar occurrences, political parties are being called upon to build and implement national policies rather than political policies that would be avoided by other political parties should they be voted to rule the country. 

“If you implement it based on a particular minister or particular government’s agenda, then it would be problematic. For us, we think that it should be prioritised as the Ministry’s policy so that once this government is no more, the new leadership who takes over would also ensure that it is worked on.”

PFAG also implored the government to provide adequate funds to implement the projects. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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