We’ll revamp cotton industry to create jobs - John Mahama pledges
Former President John Dramani Mahama has pledged to revamp the cotton industry in northern Ghana to create more jobs for the teeming unemployed youth if elected in the 2024 election.
Given the potential of the industry in transforming the economy, he said a National Democratic Congress (NDC)-led government would invest in the sector to make cotton production viable and more commercial than what was going on currently to revamp the industry.
Additionally, he said the next NDC government would support farmers to produce enough quality cotton to feed all three ginneries in Tamale, Bolgatanga and Tumu which had collapsed for decades.
"Cotton is the easiest cash crop to cultivate because it doesn’t like much rain and also doesn't affect other crops' cultivation.
“With a deliberate investment, the cotton industry, which has now virtually collapsed, will be revitalised to boost the economy" he noted.
Town hall meeting
Mr Mahama made this remark at a town hall meeting in Tamale yesterday as part of his three-day 'Building Ghana Tour' of the Northern Region.
The meeting brought together professional groups such as dressmakers, barbers, butchers, and teachers, among others who took turns to table before the flag bearer of the NDC, their concerns for redress when he wins the December election.
The town hall meeting in Tamale
The former President is expected to tour seven out of the 18 constituencies in the region.
They are Mion, Gushegu, Yendi, Tamale North, Tamale South, Sagnarigu and Tamale Central, where he will explain his vision to the electorate and also solicit their support.
Mr Mahama indicated that an NDC-led government intended to increase the cultivation of cotton in the north from the current 4,000 metric tonnes to about 100,000 metric tonnes annually.
"Our lands are the same as that of Burkina Faso and Benin, yet they can produce tonnes of cotton so why can’t we also do the same?" he quizzed.
Ban on soybeans
On the ban on the export of soybeans, he said the development was seriously affecting farmers because it did not create a good competitive price for them.
The flag bearer of the NDC noted that "if the NDC comes to power, we will engage extensively with you so that we can properly regulate the soybeans industry for farmers to maximise profit".
Some of the participants who took turns to speak at the meeting appealed to the former President to consider scrapping off and reviewing some of the taxes to ease the burden on the citizens, particularly entrepreneurs.