The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampam Constituency Sam Nartey George wants any glory associated with yesterday’s Planting for food and jobs’ programme launched at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo region to be given to the immediate past National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
The programme is to be run primarily on the back of a US$120 million (C$125 million) fund secured from the Canadian government which was announced during the President’s State of the Nation Address.
According to the lawmaker, the Government of Ghana and the Canadian Government began discussions on the design and modalities for the next phase of budget support programmes for Ghana in 2013.
“ The Mahama administration after extensive studies decided that the sure way to food sustainability was to have a specific programme targeted at injecting capital at the District level to support agriculture The Mahama administration developed a programme named Modernizing Agricultural Productivity to the Local Economy (MAPLE) programme was approved by the Canadian government and a roll out date of 2015 was set”
He added that in 2015 however, there was a change in Government in Canada and this led to a delay in the disbursement of funds for the programme as the new Canadian government sought to understand the terms of the arrangement. On the 25th of February 2016 however, the Canadian High Commission in Accra indicated to the Ghana Ministry of Agriculture that approval had been given for the disbursement of US$120 million (C$125 million) by the Canadian Treasury Board in support of the MAPLE project. A roll out date of March 2017 was then set between the partners to kick start the programme.
“It is important to note that any serious student of governance would attest to the fact that no bilateral arrangement of this nature involving such technical detail can be completed in less than 40 days. It was less than 40 days of this administration when the President mentioned this fund in address to Parliament on the State of the Nation”
He believes it is was one of the moves by the then president to redefine the economic structure of Ghana by vigorously pursuing an import substitution programme which saw a boost in local rice, sugar, vegetable oil and poultry production led to our first balance of payment surplus in 2016.