President John Mahama has pushed back hard against criticism that the agriculture sector is declining, saying is it completely “false.”
“The impression created in the media is false. Let me state for a fact that the agriculture sector is not in decline. A sector that is growing at 2.5 percent cannot be said to be in decline,” president Mahama said at the 32nd National Farmers’ Day celebration held at Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region.
His statement was response to a press conference by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in which they complained about the sluggish growth in the sector.
“By the measure of annual growth performance, Ghana’s agriculture has been sliding or, at best, sluggish. From 7.4% in 2008, and 7.2% in 2009, agricultural growth slowed to 5.3% in 2010, hitting the bottom of 0.8% in 2011. It then stayed down at 2.3% in 2012, recovering somewhat to 5.7% in 2013 and then 4.6% in 2014,” , Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minority spokesperson on Agriculture, said.
But president Mahama challenged his critics to crosscheck their facts with the statistical service, adding that: “The fact that agric’s contribution to the GDP is not what it used to be in the past, does not mean that it is declining, it simply means that other sectors of the economy are also doing well; which is good for the economy and normal for every developing and developed country.”
According to him, the 2.5 percent growth in agriculture sector cannot be saids to in decline.
“The figures we’re seeing for this year are even more outstanding because the figures we see for the first quarter for the agricultural sector in terms of growth for first quarter 2016 is showing 3.8percent, according to the Ghana Statistical Service quarter newsletter. And for the second quarter it is showing 4.1percent,” he said.