I expect food shortage in Ghana but strong agric can rescue us – Akwetey

Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) Dr Emmanuel Akwetey has said he expects shortage of food items including rice and tomatoes because the country is no longer importing these commodities as it used to before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

He, however, suggested that to be able to deal with the possible shortage of the food items, the government will have to pay particular attention to the agricultural sector of the local economy to grow the sector.

Speaking on Joy FM’s News File programme Saturday, August 8, in relation to the impact of the Covid-19 on employment in Ghana and also the economy in general, Dr Akwetey noted that although the government has taken some measures which include the earmarked stimulus package to assist businesses and also the reduction in utility tariffs, there is also the need to enact deliberate policies to grow the agric sector.

This will ensure the available of food at all times for the people, he said.

“Perhaps the intervention by the government, the reduction in the electricity, water tariffs and so on, was addressing some social and economic impact of the Covid-19.

“Since then, we have seen government also come out with some specific stabilization targeting SMEs. These are all important but I think COVID itself calls for us not only to think survival which is going to be needed for a long time because we don’t know when the pandemic is ending.

“We are integrated into the global economy, even if we are not at the centre of things, how much of our economy is able to be revived and grow and get back to where we were, is not determined solely by us.

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“Most of the accounts given are part of the survival strategies. You also have to ask yourself how do you go beyond survival and restart the economy or energize it in a way. Probably it is good that our dependency on imported things is going down. Very soon I anticipate that there will be shortage of the things we depend on that we import – the rice and tomatoes and others.

“What do we do? There are opportunities in there. Although I hear employment figures and schemes, I wanted to know the strategies that there is. The imports will not come in but it gives us the opportunity to look at local agriculture.  For many people if they and feed well, they have food to eat and so on the rest can wait.

“I am concerned about this strategy that says we are going to be more self sufficient and we will not be hungry,” he said.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana