- Instead of government releasing all funds to farmers, he believes government must be deliberate and a bit more visionary in improving the agricultural value chain
An increasingly anticipated presidential hopeful, Marricke Kofi Gane, in a Facebook post has commended government for attempting to establish a dedicated GHS 500 million fund to address the challenges confronting the agricultural sector.
In a post shared with his followers on Facebook, he wrote that setting up the fund would surely augment the agriculture sector. He, however, noted that there is an emerging trend whereby Ghanaians only get to hear NPP’s lofty ideas when they are first announced on international platforms.
"But there seems to be a new trend that we (Ghanaians) only hear about these new big agendas when they are first touted in the international space"
While applauding the idea by government, he, expresses his reservations. He questions how the NPP Government will fund the scheme of almost $100million considering that first, the deficit on the country's annual budget has had to be funded from borrowing and secondly, Government's promises of dams and irrigation to the same farmers under its flagship “one village one dam” programme is still yet to be fulfilled.
It would appear there have been no stakeholder consultations between government and players in the agricultural sector.
Instead of government releasing all funds to farmers, he believes government must be deliberate and a bit more visionary in improving the agricultural value chain. He proposes the fund is disbursed in a manner that addresses the critical areas of the agricultural sector.
In the Facebook post, he suggests:
"I WISH it was split 30:30:20:20 to Farmers’ direct credit: Light Agro-Processing Research & Machinery production: Agro-Technology Entrepreneurs: Local Agro Chemicals Development."
He proposes 30 per cent each of the fund allocation is dedicated farmers’ credit and research into light Agro-processing and machinery production to support farmers going beyond just growing produce to adding some value.
He further proposes the rest of the allocation is split equally - 20% each going to agro-technology entrepreneurs and local agro-chemical production. He is of the belief if government invests into these areas, the local agro-chemical industry would be revamped and cost of production, while also developing production capacity for export to neighbouring agric African countries. On Agro-technology, he claims it is impossible to decouple Technology from the value chain if indeed we have any intention of making this agenda a long term one. We should forget about it all if Agro-technology is absent.
If government efficiently handles these proposals, the fund would achieve the desired results of revolutionizing the agriculture sector. It must not be lip service as usual.
Mr. Marricke K. Gane, an International Development expert and Chartered Accountant by profession, is anticipated to run for the highest office in the land as an independent candidate.