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'I was amazed seeing the minister parading plantain as the success story of PFJ' - MP

50075458 Plantain at PFJ market

Tue, 29 Nov 2022 Source:

The Ranking Member on the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament has berated the Minister for Food and Agriculture for creating the impression plantain was part of the crop list for the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).

According to the ranking member, plantain production was not part of the budget or the crop list for PFJ.

"I was amazed seeing the minister parading plantain as the success story of PFJ," he said.

Mr. Eric Opoku took issue with the minister's purported impression that it was the Planting for Food and Jobs program that led to the glut in plantain production.

He noted that plantains are a seasonal crop and have always been available at this time of year.

"So it is not as a result of the PFJ that there is the availability of plantain on the market," he added.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo South Constituency in the Bono Region was speaking in an interview with the host of the Ghana Yensom morning show, Emmanuel Quarshie (The Hitman), on Accra 100.5 FM on Monday, November 28, 2022.

He challenged the sector minister to parade the crops produced by the PFJ.

He was quick to say the PFJ has not been able to ensure food security in the country.

"It is important to note that PFJ has failed because the government has cut investment in the country's agriculture sector," he said.

He further said the reason imported rice is relatively cheap in the country is because of the investments made in its production in the country of origin.

He said fertilisers, among other inputs from where the rice is imported, are catered for by the government.

"In Ghana, this (NPP) government pays a 15 per cent subsidy on fertiliser for the ordinary farmer to pay 85 per cent," he complained, and added that in 2016, the NDC government imported tractors from Brazil and subsidised them by 60 per cent for the farmer to pay 40 per cent.

Under the current government, however, farmers are bearing the full-cost, he added.

He said the NPP government has refused to make investments in agriculture, adding that now Ghana imports 730,800 metric tons of fish annually to augment its consumption levels of one million metric tons, all because premix fuel is unavailable.

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