The Agricultural sector of the Ghanaian economy is expected to grow at 4% in the 2021 fiscal year, the Caretaker Finance Minister, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has revealed.
Presenting the 2021 Budget Statement in Parliament, he said the country is on the right path to economic recovery. Furthermore, he noted the government’s good policies is restoring the economy and building a more resilient one despite COVID-19 effects.
The Minister noted that Government will over the next three years transform, revitalize and modernize the economy, through its “Obaatan Pa” Programme. To clarify, the government instituted the programme to bring back the economy on its path of growth. Among the key projects under the GHC 100 billion CARES Programme is the provision of support and attracting educated youth into commercial farming.
Touching on the successes of the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme, the Minister said the government increased the supply of improved seeds and fertilizers despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In 2020, to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on food production, the Ministry enhanced farmers’ access to production inputs and increased the planned beneficiary target of 1.2 million to 1.4 million. A total of 1,736,510 farmers benefited from subsidized fertilizers and improved seeds under PFJ programme.”
Furthermore, under the RFJ, the government procured 531,100 improved breeds of small ruminants, pigs and poultry for distribution to farmers. RFJ stands for the Rearing for Food and Jobs initiative.
Mechanization, Irrigation and Water Management
According to the statement, the government will complete the construction of Tamne Phases I & II, Mprumem Phase II in 2021 and resettle displaced persons in the reservoir area.
The Minister revealed that the construction of various irrigation projects by GIDA are at various stages of completion. Tamne Phases I&II are at 90 percent and 50 percent completion respectively. Also, Mprumem Phase II and the rehabilitation and expansion of existing schemes at Tono are both at 95 percent completion. Lastly, Kpong Irrigation Schemes with the Kpong Left Bank Irrigation project are at 61% and 72% completion.
Fall Army Worm Control
As part of efforts to reduce the Fall Army Worm (FAW) infestation to the barest minimum, the government will procure 97,000 litres and 14,000kg of insecticides in 2021.
Government also procured 89,060 liters and 11,630 kg strategic stocks of insecticides and sprayed on all affected land areas in 2020. Specifically, a total of 261,147 ha sprayed in 2020, preventing the loss of about 652,867mt of maize valued at GH¢783,440,400.00.
Cocoa Sector – Cocoa Production and Pricing
Additionally, the budget statement reveals that the producer price of cocoa for the 2020/2021 crop year increased by 28 percent. It increased from GH¢8,240 per tonne to GH¢10,560 per tonne (GH¢600/bag). COCOBOD’s crop review for 2020/2021 year projected a production figure of 896,000 tonnes. By the end of February 2021, cocoa taken-over stood at 771,461.06 tonnes. This puts the country on course to achieve its target. Also, the government projected a 1.6 percent increase in cocoa price this year.
To ensure growth of the fisheries sector, the government will complete the construction of the National Aquaculture Centre. In addition, Government will construct hatcheries at the Ashiaman and Kona- Odumase and complete work at the Sefwi Wiawso and Dormaa Ahenkro.
According to the statement, a total of 11 landing sites selected for development are at various stages of completion. The landing sites are Axim, Dixcove, Moree, Mumford Teshie, Gomoa Feteh, Senya Beraku, Jamestown, Elmina, Winneba, and Keta. This will ensure safe launching and landing of artisanal fishing, and create job opportunities within the fishing communities.