Invest in Agric and Trade for Economic turnaround – Govt. told

An economist with Databank has advised the government to focus heavily on the agriculture and trade sectors as it attempts to restore the country’s economy to the pre-COVID-19 era and subsequent growth.

“If the government wants to continue with the recovery we are seeing and strengthen it in 2021, the focus has to be on certain aspects of the economy. One of such aspects is agriculture which showed a lot of resilience during the 2020 uncertainty”, Courage Martey noted while sharing his outlook for the economy.

He added, “We believe that government interventions in the area of planting for food and jobs and rearing for food and jobs was a very important support for crops and livestock, and we think that continued intervention in that side of the economy will help agriculture provide the economy with the needed growth, so the government must continue to target critical sectors under agriculture”.

In terms of trade, Mr. Martey stressed the need for government to increase its investment in the local economy. “Then of course trade is another sector that helps economic growth a lot and the government can use its purchasing power to support domestically produced goods within the domestic economy”.

Read More: Making the African Continental Free Trade Area work for women in trade in a post-COVID-19 world

Latest provisional figures released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) covering economic activity for the first 3 quarters of 2020 shows that while the industry and services sectors of the economy both contracted by 5.1 percent and 1.1% respectively, the agriculture sector on the other hand recorded the highest growth of 8.3% in the 3rd quarter.

But, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presenting his last state of the nation address in his first term, last week, said that Ghana is witnessing a dramatic turnaround of the agricultural fortunes under his administration.

“We have seen the dramatic turnaround of our agricultural fortunes, due to the progressive policies that have improved the living standards of farmers in the country. The excellently executed policy for Planting for Food and Jobs has laid the foundation for the agricultural transformation of our country. We are able to say that our country is now a net exporter of food, and we no longer have to import basic foods like plantain and tomatoes.

“Mr. Speaker, Ghana rice is the preferred choice in an increasing number of our homes, as the growing, processing and packaging of rice become a more established and attractive industry. During this COVID crisis, we have, mercifully, been spared the spectre of food shortages. On the contrary, thanks to Planting for Food and Jobs, food has been in abundance in our markets across the country.”

“Throughout the ages, food processing has provided the takeoff point for the industrialisation of many nations, and we are taking that lesson to heart as we pursue the goal to industrialise, modernise and create jobs for the young people of our nation.”

“The One-District-One-Factory programme is part of the anchor on which we are building the comprehensive industrialization of our country. Much of the work has now been done to put in place the framework for the rapid implementation of projects.”

“The factories that are currently in place and in production reflect the underlying principle of the programme, which is the equitable distribution of development projects around the country. The prospects of our becoming the automobile hub in West Africa are growing stronger every day, with the investments being made in the country by global manufacturing giants in the automobile industry.”

By Adnan Adams Mohammed

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