THE ABYSMAL PERFORMANCE OF AGRICULTURE UNDER THE NDC
Poor Growth Performance
At a press conference today 3rd November 2016 at the party headquarters of new patriotic party ( NPP) Honourable Akoto Owusu Afiriyie informed the media that the NDC government has collapsed Agriculture in Ghana. He said by the measure of annual growth performance, Ghana’s agriculture has been sliding or at best, sluggish. From 7.4% in 2008 and 7.2% in 2009,Agriculture growth slowed to 5.3% .in 2010 hitting the bottom of 0.8% in 2011. It then stayed down at 2.3% in 2012 recovering somewhat to 5.7% in 2013 and then 6.4% In 2014.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie observed that the growth registered in the years 2013 and 2014 were in largely on account of unprecedented growth in forestry and logging activities.
If logging activities are dramatically increasing without commensurate growth in reaforestation, the abvious implication is that we are further degrading our forest cover and opening the country up to the invasion of savanna and sahelian conditions.
The crop sub-sector wich engages most of the 4.5 million farmers in This country recorded growth of only 3.6% in 2014.
In his address, he mentioned that the budget Statement was expected to post a 5.8% growth in the Agricultural sector. In the event, it only recorded a growth rate of 2.4% in 2015 which was not even up to half of the targeted growth.
The poor annual growth (3.5% average in the last six years from 2010) in agriculture is just above half of the Malabo Declaration minimum target of 6.0% per-annum for all African Countries. With population growth rate of 2.7% per annum, this means that Ghanaian agriculture is growing at a net rate of only 0.8% per capita per annum. If account is taken of rapid urbanisation typified by the kayayei phenomenon, then agricultural growth per capita drops into negative value.
The average annual growth of 3.5% in the past six years compares unfavorably with an oil-driven average annual growth of 6.7% in the economy as a whole during the same period. The fact that agriculture is growing at less than half of that of the economy in general, signals the onset of the “Dutch Disease”.
In conclusion he said under the NDC administration the management of the all-important cocoa industry has been nothing short of a disaster. * Story by Osikani *