17
Wed, Jul
4 New Articles

AKUFO-ADDO LAUNCHES CROP EXPORT / RURAL DEVELOPMENT DRIVE AND SAYS: “OUR TRANSFORMATION AGENDA WILL SUCCEED”

General News

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians that the newly inaugurated Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme will enhance the country’s foreign exchange-earning capacity and generate jobs.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians that the newly inaugurated Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme will enhance the country’s foreign exchange-earning capacity and generate jobs.

The President says the new programme will ensure that Ghana’s economic fundamentals are restructured in the right shape.

Speaking yesterday at the launch of PERD, a module under the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme, the President said his government will be committed to developing a designated list of tree crops, all of which are grown in Ghana but are currently non-traditional exports.

New revenue streams

President Akufo-Addo noted that PERD, which is tailored towards increasing cultivation of foods such as cashew nuts and mangoes, presents Ghana with opportunities for diversifying her economy and will open up new revenue streams.

He said the government is taking the necessary steps to establish an institution to regulate tree crop development in the country.

“A draft bill for the development of the tree crop sector will shortly be approved by cabinet, prior to its submission to Parliament.
“The bill, when passed by Parliament, will establish the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA). The proposed Authority will provide policy direction and regulation for the development of the sector,” he said.

Four crops are covered in the draft law: cashew nuts, oil palm, rubber and shea. It is hoped that two more will boost the final legislation and bring the total to six – coconuts and coffee.

Local enthusiasm

The President said that aside from the benefit of a diversified revenue base for Ghana, PERD will link agriculture to industry by providing a solid raw material base for industrialisation.

It will also help develop rural economies and support the structural transformation of the economy.

“The selection of crops in each district depends upon the ecological zone,” he announced. “The initial effort in preparation of the PERD has met with resounding success, with the establishment of nurseries all over the country.

“In the initial years of the programme, a total of 32,591 hectares will be planted with the tree crops in 191 districts.

“Some seedlings have been displayed at this event today. The enthusiasm with which the district chief executives have embraced the PERD is very commendable, and the intense interest clearly indicates that leadership of the programme at the local level is assured.”

He said with the government having revamped agriculture, PERD will complement other flagship policies and programmes such as One Village, One Dam, One District, One Factory and One District, One Warehouse to provide a historical opportunity to change the direction of agriculture in Ghana.

Through action to vision

Other institutional measures such as the Ghana Commodity Exchange, the Ghana Incentive-based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) and a refocusing of the mandate of the Agricultural Development Bank are being rolled out to support the government’s transformation agenda, President Akufo-Addo said.

He expressed confidence that once all these initiatives are serving their purpose, his government’s bold approach will be vindicated.

“The overarching vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid is not mere rhetoric, nor political gimmickry. As a government, we are determined through action to achieve this vision, and today’s programme is a clear indication of our genuine commitment.

“With God on our side, we shall surely succeed.”