IMF 2nd tranche: Govt urged to prioritise agric
An economist and professor of finance has called on the government to prioritise agribusiness and agroprocessing when it receives the next tranche of $600million dollars from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in November.
Professor Godfred Bokpin believes that considering the fact that Ghana has a competitive advantage in agriculture, the sector should be the government’s number one priority.
Ghana reached a staff level agreement with the IMF team that assessed the country’s performance in the last few months of implementation of programmes as agreed with the Bretton Wood institution under a $3 billion deal.
So far, an amount of $600 million has been released in the first tranche with the second expected later next month.
Professor Bokpin also stressed the need for an independent impact evaluation of one of the government’s flagship programmes, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) to ascertain it real impact with respect to food inflation and job creation.
He said with food inflation still above 45 per cent and many Ghanaians spending over 44 per cent of their disposal income on food alone, a much better audit of the government’s agricultural policy is warranted.
“The Planting for Food and Jobs lack focus, the delivery is very poor and defective. It is more political in look than in reality and therefore an independent assessment of it is needed,” Professor Bokpin said when he took his turn on the Graphic Business X Dialogue Series last Monday.
Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ)
Planting for Food and Jobs is a flagship agricultural campaign of the government which was launched in April 2017 with five implementation modules to be tackled in Phase I. The first module, which focuses on crops, aimed to promote food security and immediate availability of selected food crops on the market and also provide jobs.
The other modules were Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD); Greenhouse Technology Villages (3 Villages); Rearing for Food and Jobs ( RFJ) and Agricultural Mechanisation Services (AMSECs)
The Phase Two of the Planting for Food and Jobs was launched in August this year.
It has been designed as a bold, innovative and comprehensive approach to tackle head-on the hurdles on the country’s food security journey. The underpinning model of this phase, which is dubbed the Input Credit System, is expected to solve a number of critical challenges such as access to credit, quality of agro inputs, unstructured markets of agricultural produce, low mechanisation among other things.