The Danquah Institute (DI), a political think-tank, has commended government for its various innovative initiatives and policies implemented in the agriculture sector, urging the youth to embrace these created opportunities for economic empowerment and self-sufficiency.
According to the institute, government’s decision to continue with the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), Planting for Exports and Development, Rearing for Food and Jobs and other policies in the agriculture sector presents a lot of benefits for the youth to better their lives – hence the need for them to embrace these initiatives wholeheartedly.
With experts warning about the potential for global food insecurity leading to possible food price hikes, largely due to climate change, great opportunities exist for players in the agriculture sector to make a fortune if they are able to maximise their yields and expand supply chains.
In its official position on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, the institute stated that this food insecurity phenomenon will have dire consequences on countries which are not net producers of food; but a swift response to this would also be great news for youth in the country.
“It is in light of this that we commend government for these intentional policies which seek to significantly invest in the crops and livestock subsector. The supply of improved seeds and fertiliser projects by government will directly contribute to ensuring that Ghana is food-secure,” the institute’s Executive Director Dr. Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko has said.
The DI however called for measures to be put in place to look into assertions of subsidised seeds and fertiliser being smuggled into neighbouring countries, as well as embarking on aggressive re-formation of farmer-based organisations (FBOs) and strengthening farmer cooperatives to ensure this support gets to the right people.
With the entire agricultural sector growing by 4.9 percent at the end of first-half of the year compared to 8.1 percent growth rate in 2020, the institute is attributing the underperformance significantly to bad rainfall patterns during the early part of the year and not policy failure.
Touching on the manufacturing sector, Dr. Tsiboe-Darko stated that the impressive growth of over seven percent recorded by the sector can be linked to the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative, and is a clear indication that the programme is yielding good results.
“DI is excited to note that the manufacturing subsector grew at 7.2 percent during first-half of the year compared to the 2.3 percent during the same period last year. It is significant to also note that the high positive growth rates achieved by the manufacturing subsector in the last few years, especially this year, did not come out of the blue. A total of 278 1D1F projects (in 134 districts) are at various stages of implementation, out of which 106 factories are operational,” she said.
The institute is therefore urging government to build more factories, arguing that this has the potential to create more jobs while deepening government’s revenue mobilisation efforts – with an overall aim of reducing the country’s dependence on aid.