Government Criticized Over $2.1bn Food Imports

The Minority in Parliament has revealed that government, last year, spent 2.1billion dollars to import only eight food crops into the country.

Minority spokesperson for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto who made the revelation tells Citi Business News the move is driving local farmers and the agriculture sector in Ghana into jeopardy.

He contends that the action by government has been very disappointing especially when such foodstuffs could be produced by local farmers.

“I had just done a research which shows that last year we imported 2.1 billion dollars of food into this country for only eight food items. These are basic things that our farmers can produce.”

The MP who was speaking to the Head of Business News at Citi Fm, Vivian Kai Lokko, at the sidelines of the 2016 budget review on Monday, July 25, further emphasized that the government’s commitment to developing the agric sector has been very dissatisfactory.

“It is a very serious state of affairs that Ghana finds itself. We are not even doing enough for the farmers in terms of public resources investment in to the sector. The government is not protecting the farmers in terms of giving them a minimum price for their produce, except for cocoa and even that you can see that in real terms they have been cutting it back.”

He further intimated the situation has continually reflected in the worsening poverty levels in remote areas across the country.

“Agriculture is totally left on its own and you can see that; you go to the villages; the farming and fishing companies and the level of poverty you see there is incredible,” he concluded.

The growth of the country’s agricultural sector has declined from about 5.7 in 2013 to about 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2016.