President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on 21st of February 2017 presented his first State of the Nation Address as President. Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana mandates the President of the Republic of Ghana to present the State of Nation Address. The sixteen (16)-page speech was delivered in less than an hour.
The State of Nation Address provides the opportunity for the President to present the state of the Ghanaian economy and to outline his policies, to the descending Ghanaian, an avenue to know government’s plans for development, and to the development and business communities, an opportunity to maximize shared gains.
This article seeks to focus on the Agricultural policies of the Government as captured in the State of Nation Address. The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in the State of Nation Address highlighted government’s focus on irrigation, “Planting for Food and Jobs Campaign”, Food Processing, E-agriculture, Supply of fertilizers, improved seedlings, extension service and public investment in the Agricultural sector.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised to transform food insecurity in Ghana through the One-Village, One-dam policy. The unpredictable rainfall pattern have been one of the major challenges to farmers in the three Northern Regions of Ghana. This will provide the rare opportunity for the three northern regions in Ghana to farm all-year round.
Can Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s smart One-Village, One-dam, outsmart climate change?
“Planting for Food and Jobs Campaign”
The President disclosed that 125 million Canadian Dollars has been secured from the Canadian government to support the “Planting for Food and Jobs campaign”. The campaign will focus on investing in improved seedlings, supply of fertilizers, provisioning of dedicated extension services, developing agriculture-marketing strategy and promoting e-agriculture.
Does this campaign speak to the entire value chain of Agriculture?
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo considers Food processing as the first step towards industrialization. He lamented about food wastage through spoilage and promised to solve this challenge by encouraging food processing. ‘Jobs would be created from this investment,’ he added.
Increase Public Investment in Agriculture
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo lamented about poor public investment into the agriculture sector by the previous government and promised to increase it. Agriculture contribution to GDP over the years has shown a steady reduction from 35.4% in 2006 to 25.6% in 2011. The growth rate reduced from 4.5% in 2006 to 4.3% in 2007, increased to 5.3% in 2008 and finally reduced to 0.8% in 2011.
Stakeholders in the Agriculture Value Chain should expect more than 20% of Akufo-Addo’s investment in Agriculture.
Government has already planned to register progressive farmers in each of the 216 Districts in Ghana. This move will enable all registered farmers benefit from the government’s initiatives.
Click HERE to download President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation’s Address.