Agric sector must be major concern of Ghanaian politicians – ActionAid

ActionAid Ghana, an NGO, has called on politicians especially those seeking political power to regard agriculture as the major area of public concern and must they must have plans to develop the sector to provide jobs and income for smallholder farmers especially women.

The NGO has therefore called on Ghanaians to vote wisely by refusing to vote for politicians who disregard the agricultural sector which it said was the backbone of the economy.

Madam Queronica Quarley Quartey, the Right to Food and Climate Change Policy Advisor to ActionAid, said this in Tamale on Wednesday during a forum on smallholder farmer’s engagement with parliamentary candidates.

The forum brought together farmers and some parliamentary aspirants from Tamale metropolis who also underscored the need for more investments in the agricultural sector.

The meeting was meant to raise a platform for smallholder farmers to discuss their concerns with parliamentary aspirants with issues of major concern should they be elected to parliament so they could serve the interest of the agricultural sector.

Madam Quartey said a research findings by the NGO indicated that investment in the agricultural sector had been dwindling for the past years especially in the food crop sector adding that “the focus has been in the cash crop sector to the neglect of the food sector.”

She said Ghana had failed to meet the Maputo Declaration of investing 10 percent budgetary allocations to the agricultural sector thereby affecting the overall output of the smallholder farmer particularly women smallholder farmers. Mr. William K. Boakye, Acting Programme Manager of ActionAid said the organization believes that the challenges in Ghana’s agricultural sector could be sustainably addressed through policy reforms, increased public financing and prioritization of farmers issues by political leaders.

He said it has therefore made security and concerns of smallholder farmer’s issues critical on the Ghanaian political agenda in this coming election.

“To achieve this, there is the need for direct engagements between farmers and politicians”. Mr. Boakye said and added that farmers must be given enough resources to continue to feed the nation.

Source: GNA

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