Aspiring flagbearer of the NPP for the 2024 Presidential Elections, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto is set to deliver a public lecture on Ghana’s economy.
The Agricultural Economist will deliver the lecture today, March 13, 2023, at the University of Professional Studies, Accra under the theme “The Future Of The Economy Of Ghana.”
The former Minister for Food and Agriculture has earlier indicated that potential in the agricultural sector is huge, believing that the sector has the prospect to turn around the fortunes of Ghana and permanently eliminate the syndrome of going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) whenever there is distress in the economy.
“Agriculture by far has the biggest potential to turn around the fortunes of this country. It is not gold or oil or any other resource. The potential is so huge. We have a very fortunate situation and you may not be aware. There is something I’ve learned about Ghanaian farmers. You give them the smallest incentives and they will run a mile with it and that is a resource we need to exploit to the earth. If we can exploit the willingness of the Ghanaian farmer, our country will be great”, he noted.
He added, “look at what our farmers have done with the Planting for Food and Jobs by providing them subsidies – seed and fertilizer? And it is not all the farmers. In 2018, I conducted an agricultural census to count the number of farmers in Ghana which has never been done for 38 years. We came up with 3.1 million professional farmers in this country. Planting for Food and Jobs by 2021 had benefitted 1.7 million professional farmers – that is half of the farmers’ population and even with half, look at what has happened to Ghana’s agriculture. In 2021, agriculture had the highest growth in the 4th Republic, 8.4%. In the eye of the storm of COVID-19 in the year 2020, when all countries were down, Ghana’s agricultural sector growth was 7.4%. The Planting for Food and Jobs was working and kept Ghana going. The Ghanaian farmer is a resource sitting and waiting to be exploited and for me, the future of this country is to give incentives to these farmers for them to produce the surpluses and foreign exchanges to finance our industrial development; our education; our hospitals, health and infrastructure and all those things. We can do it”.
The event will kick-start in the afternoon at about 14:00 GMT .