Monday, October 31, 2011

Prioritize Agric, Government told

Francis Npong, Tamale

The government of Ghana has been challenged to come out with local economic recovery programmes that would support local production. This accordingly would encourage mass production and consumption of locally produced foodstuff which has potentials to improve economic growth of the country.
The Coordinator for Community Life Improvement Programme (CLIP) Mr. Illiasu Adam who challenged the government during GDCA- media engagement meeting in Tamale expressed worry over the continuous importation of millions of tons of rice into the country to the detriment of local rice farmers.
He observed that the country could produce abundant rice to feed the nation if the government could support local farmers with agricultural inputs.
Mr. Adam stated that the country’s inability to produce food enough to feed herself and have to import tons of food was because of absent of favourable agric policies and prioritization.
“In 70s we produced enough rice and fed the nation and exported tons to other countries so why can’t we do same with modern agric technology?, he asked.
The over-reliance on foreign produces, Mr. Adam emphasized was however compounding the problems of poverty and inequality among the people and should be looked at critically.
“Our economy has been static over the years because we allowed other nations to dictate to us how to handle our economy. This however does not make us independence nation”, he said.
Ghana, he said has no excuse to go hungry because she has vast landmass, favourable weather conditions, rivers, lakes and thousands of unused water bodies to produce or commercialize any crop(s) of her choice through irrigation.
The Coordinator appealed to the government to prioritize agric which he said has the potential to engage thousands of unemployed youth, create more jobs, improve national economy, and empower more people financially to reduce the pressure politicians faced regarding job creation and economic recovery programmes.
The Executive Secretary of GDCA, Mr. Rahman Osman explained that his outfit which involved in advocacy has been championing women and youth empowerment. He said that most of their programmes including Community life Improvement Programme, Youth Empowerment for Life, School for Life, Dalun Simli Center among other programmes are human modeling programmes aimed to prepare them for future engagement.  GDCA instituted GDCA-Media engagement a year ago to showcase their activities to the public. The meeting also gives opportunity to journalists to assess their performances on various community programmes and suggest ways to improve them.