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Budget review: Increase allocation to research & dev’t of high yielding food crops – Policy Expert

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Government’s inability to allocate significant resources to research and development within the agriculture sector has been blamed for the lack of innovation, high yielding foods crops, the rise in food inflation among others. 

Ghana’s annual inflation rate rose slightly for the second month running to 42.5% in June 2023, from 42.2% in the prior month and well above the central bank’s target band of 6% to 10%. The acceleration in overall inflation was largely driven by rising prices for food and beverages (54.2% from 51.8% last month).

An Agriculture Policy Consultant, Emmanuel Wullingdool, speaking with Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show recently explained that the government’s lack of interest in funding research and development harms the development of the agriculture sector. 

In line with this, Mr. Wullingdool has urged the government to use the budget review to allocate more funds to research and development organisations. 

“I look at a few things that are fundamental to ensure that our agriculture sector is transformed to ensure that it is responding to the needs of farmers and addressing the challenges that they have that would include fighting food security and fighting food inflation. The issue of research and development remains key. As a country, we do not spend up to one percent of the GDP on research and development. We need to do more.”

“I am hoping to see the Finance Minister allocate more resources to the research bodies we have in the country so that they can continue to research and do more to produce high yielding varieties as well as more climate resistant varieties,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the government may be failing to implement portions of the 2023 Budget Statement and Financial Policy that are key to driving the development of agriculture for farmers, both small scale and commercial.  

“Mr. Speaker, The National Insurance Commission, is spearheading the development of agricultural insurance for farmers through the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool (GAIP). GAIP provides traditional agricultural insurance and index based weather insurance products to commercial and small-holder farmers. An estimated US$400 million in agricultural insurance will be extended to eligible farmers in 2023,” portions of the 2023 Budget Statement and Financial Policy read. 

When Agriculture Policy Consultant, Emmanuel Wullingdool spoke to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, he mentioned that the government has been seen doing much in the area of agriculture insurance. 

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

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