Ghana: Govt Should Invest More in Agric – Prof. Ackah
An Economist at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Professor Charles Ackah, has called on the government to invest more into the agriculture sector.
By Anita Ankrah
Sharing his view in a discussion on how to get ‘Ghana’s economic recovery right’ on Accra based radio station, Joy FM’s PM Express programme last Friday, Prof. Ackah said the country had not invested much into the agriculture sector and for that reason hunger and unemployment was on the rise in the country.
His comments were on the backdrop of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s assurance that his government would restore the economy to its thriving form as the current state of the economy was a temporal one.
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“Close to 20 per cent of youth are unemployed, making 20 per cent of the country’s population hungry. The country over the last 60 years has not done well,” he said.
Prof. Ackah explained that most of the country’s policies were in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), yet procedures for sustaining them were difficult due to the non-industrialisation of the country.
He emphasised that the country was dependent more on imported goods from countries to feed its citizens and not work for themselves.
He, however, urged government to take charge and handle the economic crisis as COVID-19 pandemic was done.
“If more money is pushed in the agriculture sector, many youth would venture into farming and would in a way reduce importation of goods consumed in the country and rather promote employment,” he said.
Again, Prof. Ackah said successive governments have failed to adequately invest in grants and subsidies, especially in comparison with other countries, thus inadvertently thwarting development and making life difficult for Ghanaians.
Noting that those austerities affected business growth, resulting in low revenues from taxes.
“Look at subsidies, the amount of money that government spend in terms of grants and subsidies for fertilisers to farmers, to LEAP and social benefits,” he questioned.
Prof. Ackah further recommended that the government sought help from the central bank in order to boost the economy.
“There is nothing wrong if we call on the central bank for help, that would be the best way to go to sustain the economy,” he recommended.