Ghana sees the military as more important than agricultural research and development in terms of spending, according to the first Africa Human Development Report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) May 15, 2012.
This is between the period from 2000 and 2008.
Making calculations based on reports by Sweden-based think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), data in the UNDP report indicates that though Ghana’s spending on the military is more than agricultural research and development both are below 1% of the country’s GDP.
According to the report, sub-Saharan African countries including Ghana still feel the legacy of policy neglect of agriculture.
“Over 2000–2008, African governments, with the exception of Mauritius, spent far more on the military than on agricultural research and development,” it said.
In 2008, the report added, military spending totalled almost $15 billion while agricultural research and development spending was less than $3 billion in 19 countries which included Ghana.
SIPRI, on April 17, 2012, published that Ghana spent an amount of $98 million at current prices on its military in 2011.
But in real terms, the Institute indicated that the country’s expenditure on its military in 2011 was $96 million, declining 23% from the $125 million it spent in 2010.
The 2011 military expenditure was 0.4% of the 2010 gross domestic product (GDP), SIPRI figures indicated, adding that Ghana spent $26 million on the military in 1988.
Agriculture has been the leader of growth in the Ghanaian economy until recently when it was overtaken by the oil sector.
The UNDP urged African countries to take considerably stronger commitment to fund agricultural research in order to generate the results necessary to sustain nutrition and human development outcomes.
By Ekow Quandzie