Business News of Saturday, 12 November 2016
Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance
Finance Minister, Seth Terkper has encouraged Ghanaian companies to take advantage of the opportunities of government’s recent economic policies especially in the Agriculture sector which he thinks has huge potential.
Private businesses have in recent months complained about what they deem unfavourable business environment due to what they deem as high taxes.
However, Mr Terkper says opportunities abound in the agric sector which if tapped will help boost the economy.
“We are not just building power plants, the President and others mentioned petrochemicals, we have even not forgotten agric, that petrochemicals; one of such product is fertilizer, we do have butimen and the others that can be mentioned”.
“Stabilizing power means industry output will also be stabilized and so the opportunities we all crave to run our businesses more efficiently lies in some of the things we want to do, there are opportunities, particularly midstream” he stated.
Ghana’s bailout programme with the IMF has been blamed for the dwindling performance of the Agricultural industry over the past year.
In reading the 2016 Budget Statement in Parliament last year, the Minister of Finance Seth Terkper revealed that the Agric sector saw a mere 0.04 percent growth for the year 2015.
Figures from the Budget reveal that the industry has been falling since 2013. In 2015 the sector recorded a growth rate of 5.7 4.6 0.04 percent growth rate respectively
The many analysts have said is not good enough, blaming partly on the expenditure restrictions placed on governement by the IMF bailout.
In recent times, experts have been sounding the alarm bells over a possible global food crisis.
This is based on the impact of many factors including forest denudation, land degradation, species extinction, destruction of coastal ecosystems, water shortage, climate change, declining oil supplies, and, the growing demand for high-protein food.
The root cause of all these problems have also been attributed to the ruthless exploitation of the earth’s resources, triggered by growing affluence in some parts of the world and desperate poverty in others — linked to rapidly increasing population.
According to UN statistics, between 1980 and 2000, global population rose from 4.4 billion to 6.1 billion, while food production increased by 50 per cent by 2050, the population is expected to hit over nine billion. Experts say agricultural production needs to increase by at least 60 percent over the next ’40 years to meet the rising demand for food.
The lot has fallen on Africa to lead the rest of the world to achieving food sufficiency, given its relatively huge uncultivated land resources, and unattained potential productivity gains as a main source of future supply and stability for food and industrial agricultural markets