The Agric Minister has dismissed assertions Ghana is heading to a food crisis.Kofi Humado insists the situation is not as bad as critics would have the world believe. He was responding to assertions by the Kwadaso MP that the country was heading to an imminent food crisis.The MP, Dr.Owusu Afriyie Akoto said Ghana’s agriculture sector is fast deteriorating and needs urgent attention.
The agric sector was allocated 340 million Ghana cedis, representing 2% of total budgetary allocation an amount Dr Afriyie insisted is woefully inadequate.He told Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Elton John Brobbey that amount was not enough to even develop agric in the northern regions of Ghana.“If you take account of the rate at which the population is growing, which is close to three per cent then it means that agricultural growth has been stagnant," he said. He said there is also a widening gap between the growth of the economy and the growth of agriculture which is a recipe for disaster, a clear indication the country was experiencing the “Dutch disease.”Dr Akoto who is also a ranking member on Parliament’s Food and Agriculture Committee said government has always been playing lip service to the development of agriculture in the country. “There is lack of commitment; there is a lot rhetoric and propaganda by this government about the importance of agriculture but when it comes to where the resources are to be put, very little is given," he noted.He said the budgetary allocation for agriculture for this year is paltry and would not change the lives of farmers in the country.But Agric Minister says the situation is not hopeless.He told Evans Mensah the decline in agriculture was as a result of some reforms and international protocols implemented in 2011 and which had an effect on the forestry, logging and fisheries sub-sectors of agriculture. He pointed out however that the food crops and livestock sub sectors maintained its growth in the year under review.He said the strict implementation of the new fisheries law also affected the catch by fishermen which has prompted the need to go into aqua culture.He said the figures in the budget must not be taken out of context. According to Humado, government is rather having bumper harvest but is faced with the challenge of storing the agricultural products.