Government’s 2.8% expenditure on agric woefully inadequate – Actionaid

Madam Quironica Qualey Qlotey, Policy Advisor on Food Rights and Climate Change for Actionaid Ghana has recommended that 10 per cent of government’s expenditure should be allocated to the agriculture sector.

She noted that government’s expenditure of 2.8 per cent on agriculture was woefully inadequate because about 60 per cent of the country’s working population was in the agriculture sector.

Madam Qlotey made the recommendation when presenting a research paper at a day’s forum for Smallholder Farmers and Parliamentary Aspirants at Nsawkaw in the Tain District of the Brong Ahafo Region.

It was organised by Actionaid Ghana in collaboration with Green Earth Organization, both Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

The forum was to identify peculiar challenges confronting the smallholder farmer, particularly women and efforts to increase investment for agriculture to enhance food security at the constituency level.

She called for a percentage of the agriculture inputs supplied to farmers to be allocated to women to ease the stress they go through to access those logistics.

“The triple role they play as wives, mothers and workers makes it difficult for them to compete with their male counterparts in their line of duty,” she added.

Madam Qlotey noted that most policies on agriculture had been drafted but their implementation was the problem, and therefore called on stakeholders to ensure stringent measures were put in place to implement them.

Presenting their demands to the Parliamentary aspirants, the farmers said they faced many challenges in their activities and pleaded with the aspirants to fulfill their promises when elected to Parliament.

They noted that access from the farms to the market centres were in deplorable state and this enables the “middlemen”’ to cheat them by determining the prices of their produce, adding that “Their prices only favoured them and not the farmers”.

The farmers called for a processing plants and storage facilities to process their produce for preservation, especially the perishable ones to avoid wastage.

A major concern of the farmers was the construction of a reservoir for irrigation purposes to enable them to farm all year round, adding that, they were unable to access bank loans because their activities were seasonal.

Mr Ofori Amanfo, New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Aspirant for Tain and Mr Anto Abebrese, a representative of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Aspirant appealed to the farmers to vote for the NDC and pledged that their concerns would be address when elected.

Source: GNA

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