Business News of Saturday, 16 December 2017
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says agriculture remains a key sector to the country’s development as it is the engine of growth for ‘Ghana beyond aid.’
“It is therefore fundamental to boost agriculture productivity, achieve sustainable, industrial and agribusiness development as a means of wealth and job creation,” he stated.
Addressing a two-day conference for Regional Ministers in Kumasi, the vice president said the government, under President Akufo-Addo, has consequently placed renewed emphasis on the agriculture sector by pumping in much needed resources to facilitate rapid integration for global and regional value chain.
According to him, the revival and modernisation of Ghana’s agriculture sector – through the introduction of the ‘planting for food and jobs’ programme, provision of financial support and inputs for farmers in the intensification of local economic delivery programme at the district levels – are major plans for the government’s commitment to change the face of agriculture.
He asserted that the one million dollar per constituency fund, which would be administered by the three development authorities, would be used for rural infrastructure development in line with the larger vision of the government to address basic needs of the citizens in their localities.
“Twenty eighteen will be the first full year implementation of the ‘one million dollars per constituency;’ fund and it is going to be key in addressing a lot of needs at the local level. Those needs will be determined by the local residents,” Dr Bawumia averred.
The conference was held under the theme, “Strategic Planning Towards Ghana Beyond Aid,” which brought together the 10 regional ministers and their deputies.
Dr Bawumia asked them to take key interest in the development of rural and local communities as they are important stakeholders in determining the priorities in collaboration with the development authorities and the people.
“These development authorities will need your support and collaboration to ensure development at the local level. It is important for each one of us to ask ourselves, ‘how will I make myself relevant to the success of these initiatives?’” he posited.
He reminded them that Ghanaians would be the judges in not too distanct future at the ballot box, urging them to play their roles effectively to leave behind a better future for the unborn generations.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, in a welcome address, said, “Governance is about development, and development is also about people.”
He disclosed that the conference was meant to make them, as regional ministers, rededicate themselves to the manifesto pledge of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to industrialize the nation and wean her from foreign aid.
“This very apt theme was highlighted and re-emphasized in speeches delivered by our President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during the visit of the French President last week.”
Mr. Osei Mensah stated that it is the responsibility of state actors and Ghanaians as a whole, to create an avenue to develop the country without reliance on foreign support.
“I think if we are able to change our attitude and do things right, we will get to our desired destination,” the regional minister submitted.