Presidential special initiative to spur investments in Agriculture
The AAPET according to Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, is a three-pronged economic development programme that would accelerate investments in Agriculture, Strategic Infrastructure and Industrialisation.
The programme seeks to modernise agriculture, improve production efficiency, achieve food security, and increase profitability for farmers by investing in the entire agricultural and agribusiness value chain, and thereby creating new businesses and job opportunities in the sector.
Speaking on new policy initiatives to be introduced in 2018 during the Budget presentation to Parliament on Wednesday, Mr. Ofori-Atta said government would also invest in infrastructure that supports the opening up of the major agricultural zones of the country, in energy and in related infrastructure to accelerate the industrialisation agenda of Government.
A major component of the AAPET would be the establishment of a GHC400 million fund to de-risk the agriculture and agribusiness sector through sustainable agriculture financing and crop insurance schemes.
It would also abolish duties on some agricultural produce processing equipment and machinery, support the development of agribusiness start-ups, increase the pace of agricultural mechanisation, provide specific technical assistance and tax incentives to support agro-processing, packaging, and market access and launch a major pension scheme for cocoa farmers.
The AAPET would also ramp-up investments under the Planting for Food and Jobs including; the provision of seeds and subsidised fertilizer, develop modern storage facilities through the “One District, One Warehouse” programme, implement a grant funding facility for agribusiness start-ups, and launch the commodities exchange.
The new programme is also expected to open up key food basket zones through road construction and irrigation projects, with some key roads and bridges to be constructed over the next three years.
These include; Anwiankwanta-Obuasi, Nyinahin-Awisesu, Nyinahin-Kyekyewere, Asuboni Rails-Ekutuaze-kadoaso-Akoari, Kasotie Junction-Kasotie, Wulugu-Kpasenke-Wa, Lawra-Han-Tumu, Nandom-Hamile, Tamale –Karaga, Karaga-Gushegu, Bunkpurugu-Nalerigu, Nalerigu-Gbintiri, Twifo-Praso-Dunkwa on Offin, Elubo-Asemkrom-Enchi, Attebubu-Kwame Danso-Kwadwokrom-Riverside, Komfo Anokye/Bekwai Roundabout Interchanges and Apatrapa-Abuakwa.
Others are the Tamale Point 7 Interchange, Suame Interchange, PTC Interchange-Takoradi, Daboya Bridge, Nawumi Bridge, Yapei Bridge, Buipe Bridge, Lawra- Dikpe Bridge, Prima-Misio Bridge and the 99 Steel Bridges.
Mr Ofori-Atta said government, as part of policy initiatives for 2018, would also pursue the development of infrastructure through Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
He noted that government would develop the Public Investment Management Reform Strategy and Action Plan and establish a functional Public Investment Management System in line with its Public Investment Management.
“Government would enhance the role of the private sector in the provision of the infrastructure through PPP. A new PPP Bill has been prepared and submitted to Cabinet for approval and once passed by Parliament, it will be followed by the relevant regulations,” he stated.