A former deputy Fisheries Minister under the erstwhile Mahama administration has said the previous government improved the agriculture sector than what the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has done in the past 3 years.
Nii Amasa Namoale believes the current government has not been truthful with Ghanaians on the real economic indicators and the contribution of agric to the GDP growth of the country.
Speaking on Weekend Focus, a news analysis programme on Power 97.9 FM, the former Member of Parliament (MP) for La -Dadekotopon stated that the country’s previous budget was explicit on how agric contributed to the growth of Ghana’s economy, adding that the figures showed the Mahama administration performed better in that sector than the Akufo-Addo government.
Presenting the 2020 Budget to Parliament on Wednesday, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Ata announced that the agric sector had recorded a significant growth under the NPP government and touted that they had performed well as compared to the previous government.
Mr Ofori-Ata stated that in 2017 when the NPP Government assumed office, growth in the agriculture sector had declined dramatically, so the government had to increase agricultural productivity as the basis for industrialization, job creation and export through the introduction of the Planting for Food and Jobs.
Growth in the Agriculture sector, the Minister noted, “moved from a low of 2.9 percent in 2016 to 6.1 percent in 2017, recorded a growth of 4.8 percent in 2018 and is projected to grow at 6.9 percent in 2019.”
But Mr Namoale disagreed with the Minister’s claim. He told host Kwame Minkah that although the government had said it spent about GHS 600 million on Planting for Foods and Jobs (PFJ) in the previous year, the successes in the agric sector under the NDC was enormous.
“Ken Ofori-Ata’s budget misled Ghanaians. He lied to us because some of the figures in his budget were not the true reflection of what happened on the grounds… even with their Planting for Foods and Jobs, Agric sector growth still declined and it is clear in the budgets of the previous years,” he argued.
He said the contribution of agriculture to the GDP of the country declined under the NPP, basing his claims on the Ghana Statistical Service.
He added that agric contribution to the GDP in 2013 was 21.7 percent; 22 percent in 2014; 22.1percent in 2015; 22.7 percent in 2016 and declined to 21.2 percent in 2017 and 19.7 percent in 2018 under the NPP government.
To Mr Namoale, the NPP cannot compare itself to the NDC in terms of enhancing the lives of Ghanaians through realistic programmes and initiatives.