General News Wed, 22 Aug 2018

Agriculture is the key to reducing poverty in Ghana - Dr Kwesi Jonah

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A Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) has argued that the most effective means of reducing poverty drastically in Ghana is through Agriculture.

Dr Sam Jonah explained that the bedrock of Ghana's economy since pre-colonial times has been Agriculture and the sector engages more than half the population thus expanding opportunities in the sector and reducing the challenges will greatly improve the lives of Ghanaians.

The Research Fellow insists the general view held since the country struck oil that it was going to be a key to Ghana's development and drastically reduce poverty may not be accurate as the resource or its proceeds doesn't affect so many lives in the country.

He made this submission at a conference in Accra to discuss the country's inclusive growth and development agenda where he addressed the gathering on behalf of Civil Society Organisations in the country.

Despite all the policies government has initiated Dr Kwesi Jonah stressed at the event,"I have listened to the honourable Minister profer many initiatives that we as a nation are making to reduce poverty - Free SHS, Planting for Food and Jobs, LEAP - all these are very very good but at the end of the day don't forget that the vast majority of our people it is in Agriculture that they make a living. A significant percentage of our people make their livelihood in agriculture. Therefore, any effort to reduce poverty, any effort to reduce inequality must focus on agriculture as well. What we are doing - oil, oil, we have been producing oil for how many years but if you ask everybody here what impact has oil made in your life?"

The forum brought together stakeholders from all relevant institution like UNICEF, DFID, GOGIG, Civil Society Platform for SDGs and relevant personalities like deputy Ministers and Chief of Staff Frema Opare.

Addressing the gathering on the essence of having such discourse among stakeholders, Chief of Staff Frema Opare charged all gathered to ensure their policies are beneficial to all, increase development and reduce poverty.

Frema Opare suggested that in her view education constitute a formidable means of closing the inequality gap and providing the vast majority of people an avenue to partake in Ghana's development agenda.

"For me, an inclusive growth is one that should consider the human capital as a critical component. If people are to partake meaningfully then inclusive educational policies are also crucial to its agenda"

Country Representative of UNICEF, Anne-Claire Dufay intimated that breaking data into smaller component is key to helping governement better target marginalised in society and make policies that address the needs of the underprivileged in society.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com