Akufo-Addo’s promise to reduce imports empty – Poultry Farmer Association, GAWU
Stakeholders in the agriculture sector have shredded into President Akufo-Addo’s latest promise to supervise a review of the country’s imports.
Ghana spends several billions of Cedis annually to import many food items including rice, poultry, sugar, and oil.
For instance, a whopping $2 billion is spent every year on the importation of rice.
President Akufo-Addo in his address to the nation on the worsening economic situation on Sunday said the review is part of measures to address the country’s dwindling economic fortunes by ensuring the production of these imports locally.
“We will review the standards required for imports into the country, prioritise the imports, as well as review the management of our foreign exchange reserves, in relation to imports of products such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles, and others which, with intensified government support and that of the banking sector, can be manufactured and produced in sufficient quantities in Ghana.”
He added: “Government will, in May 2023, that is six (6) months from now, review the situation. We must, as a matter of urgent national security, reduce our dependence on imported goods, and enhance our self-reliance, as demanded by our overarching goal of creating a Ghana Beyond Aid.”
However, The President of the Poultry Farmers Association, Lawrence Tetteh in an interview on Morning Starr on Starr FM said President Akufo-Addo’s words are empty.
“For me, it’s an empty promise or projection, for the fact that we have the capacity to produce if given the chance. There is a need for government to create an enabling environment to help scale up local production. But unfortunately, it has not been so over the years. Having been in office for almost six years, and with the experience, we have had, I must be frank I don’t see hope in this government improving the poultry sector or the industry. If I have to give you an update on engagement we had with the Minister of Food and Agriculture where we even moved to meet with the Select Committee on Agriculture, and met with the President where we felt that if care is not taken to mitigate what we are expecting to be unprecedented, Ghana is going to lose the poultry industry, they never gave it that sensitive attention. The Minister went around glorifying the people he had around him.”
He added: “We have heard this thing severally, the commitment and determination are not there. Even before the President would have made such an assertion, at least I should have been able to tell you that there have been some close-door meetings with these policymakers but nothing has happened. Then you come and tell me these are measures you are taking to discourage imports of such commodity. This is not the first time they are mentioning this. When he took office, he said they are going to reduce the import of frozen chicken drastically but their activities are rather encouraging it.”
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