2023 budget allocated 1% to agric when Maputu declaration says it shouldn’t be less than 10% – Eric Opoku

Member of Parliament for Asunafo South, Eric Opku has said that the government has not paid enough attention to agriculture hence, some of the challenges facing the sector.

In his view, there has not been enough investments in the sector, leading to the inability of local farmers to produce enough food to feed the people despite the availability of arable lands.

Speaking ahead of the the 2022 national farmers’ day celebration in Parliament, he indicated at the Second Ordinary Assembly of the African Union in July 2003 in Maputo, African Heads of State and Government including Ghana endorsed the “Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa”.

The declaration contained several important decisions regarding agriculture, but prominent among them was the “commitment to the allocation of at least 10 percent of national budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development policy implementation within five years”.

“Even today, the 2023 budget of Ghana, total allocation to the agricultural sector is around one percent,” the ranking member on the committee of food and agriculture said.

He added “Why is that nature has been been kind to us and has bestowed on us all that it takes for agriculture to be used to develop our nation yet we are still unable to produce enough food to feed our people? What are the challenges? The first challenge is, lack of investments in agriculture sector.”

For his part, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said that a number of significant investments have been made by the Akufo-Addo government since 2017 to improve agriculture in the country.

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He told Parliament that farmers are benefiting from subsidized input programmes and other interventions.

He was briefing Parliament on the National Farmers’ Day event that will take place today Friday December 2 in all districts across the country but with the main event taking place at the Koforidua Jubilee Park in the Eastern Region.

The event is on the theme “Accelerating agricultural development through value addition.”

The Minister said “The theme also highlights government’s recognition and commitment to the sustainable development and transformation of Ghana agriculture as well as it signifies government’s appreciation for the need to harness the potential of our agriculture.

“Specific intervention with the success of the of Planting for Food and Jobs speaks clearly to the government’s relentless efforts to systematically address the long standing problems of agriculture.”

He added “Since 2017, investments have been made by government in the various subsectors of agriculture resulting in significant achievements. Notable impact  are visible in the food crop subsector, the farmers continue to benefit from subsidized input programmes and millions of Cedis of six selected tree crops.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana