Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, the Minister of State at the Finance ministry has claimed that the Mid-year budget review has witnessed a lot of development.
According to the Minister of State for Finance, since the 2023 budget was presented by the minister of finance Ken Ofori-Atta long ago, this recent mid-year budget was intended to highlight the advancements made, but advancements could not have been made without considering their historical context.
“During the covid era, we know that the conditions of people were unpalatable and things were really hard globally. And we even lost some of our compatriots. That was very painful that this was exhibited by conditions later, as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict but also the tightening financing globally. As a result of that, living conditions got worse. And it wasn’t just for Ghana, it was global.
“And that is why the Central banks of advanced countries as well as emerging markets decided to fight inflation because prices of goods and services were skyrocketing. And in order to do that, most of them use monetary policy tightening, thus, increasing interest rates. And if you increase interest rates, that also pushes out the private sector, creating unemployment because production or growth will certainly respond negatively.”Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam
The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Karaga Constituency claimed that all of these made the situation in Ghana worse and that the budget was therefore the only way to address some of these issues. He, for one, is pleased that the progress has been noteworthy because he had seen an improvement in the data regarding inflation.
Even though inflation has decreased, he continued, individuals might not realize it, but it is undeniably true that it has done so. He made it clear that the ministry was unhappy with the current state of inflation, since it had higher expectations. In his opinion, it should drop further lower so that people may feel the effects in their pockets and living arrangements.
“For example, as of the end of last year, inflation was about 54%. That was really too much and today it is around 42%. In fact, the target for 18% was what we wished for but conditions globally sometimes affect your domestic plan. If you look at the inflation basket, food inflation dominates. 54% of the inflation is caused by food inflation.
“And when you further disaggregate the food inflation, then you notice that imported food causes the inflation about 43% and locally produced food cause about 33% and that tells you that the bulk of our inflation is imported.”Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam
Patronage Locally Produced Food To Reduce Inflation
According to Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, imported inflations are influenced by the economic situations of the nations from which the country imports its food, as well as the duties that are collected at the port, which provide money to the government.
Furthermore, he noted that it was unexpected that, if a country relies on imported food, the economy of the exporting country will undoubtedly be negatively impacted if local food sources on a global scale have risen, even in nations where food is imported from.
“And this is why we want to encourage Ghanaians to patronize our locally imported foods because as we importing our rice for example, there’s available locally produced rice. Which is not as expensive as what is being imported. This simply means that the imported ones are expensive, yet we continue to patronize them at the expense of our local record.
“This gov’t wants to improve agricultural productivity and this is why we are about launching an aggressive growth strategy that will ensure agricultural productivity and ensure that agricultural stuff is increased, so we can tackle inflation caused by food. Substantial investment has taken place over the last 5 years, since the planting for food and jobs was launched.”Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam
Until COVID and the Russia-Ukraine war had an impact on food costs worldwide, including fertilizer prices, he said, agriculture was rising at a rate of about 7% per year. That, he claimed, was impressive because the country had stopped importing some foods, such cereals. He asserted that the nation’s production had decreased since the conditions, though.
“But we have available locally produced food and if we patronize them, and our farmers are empowered, we can be able to meet our food requirement without relying on imported food,” he concluded.