‘Support Agric With Oil Money’

By Cephas Larbi

By Cephas Larbi

Dr. Kwabena Donkor (left) in an interaction with one of the foreign dignitaries at the summit

Dr. Kwabena Donkor, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, has urged government to use revenue from the oil and gas sector to develop the agriculture sector.

According to him, agriculture was very important and therefore should not be relegated to the background in the wake of the commercial production of oil and gas.

Dr. Donkor, who made this known at the 5th Ghana Summit of Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Accra, said the proceeds from the oil and gas should be invested in agriculture sector.

‘We should always have agriculture at the back of our head, as we work towards making profits from the oil and gas industry,’ he said.

Dr. Donkor said agriculture has the potential of providing a lot of jobs for the people to alleviate poverty in the country.

The agriculture sector increased its contribution to total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy in the third quarter of 2013.

The contribution of the agriculture sector to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has declined to 22 percent from 40 percent.

The sector currently employs 50 percent of Ghana’s total labour force as against the previous 60 percent.

In 2013, 1.5 percent of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), representing GH¢4.6 million was allocated to the sector but in the 2014 budget, an amount of GH¢136 million was allocated.

According to the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, Government increased the agriculture sector’s budget allocation in order to boost it.

He said as part of efforts to boost agriculture, facilitate trade and improve the environment for commercial activities, government would undertake initiatives to transform agriculture.

Additionally, he noted that post-production challenges in agribusiness would be addressed.

‘In this regard, Government will facilitate the pooling of private and public sector funds to pursue the following major initiatives in the agriculture sector, including developing modern farmer markets, development of agriculture estates and scaling up of the Agricultural Insurance Scheme,’ he said.

By Cephas Larbi

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