2018 Budget Peasant Farmers demand timely release of funds

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2018 Budge peasant farmers demand timely release of funds

Recently, government announced that it has planned to allocate some GH¢700 million of the 2018 budget to revamp the agric sector and help transform the country’s economy.

The amount is expected to be invested in agricultural transformation programmes, construct and refurbish roads linking farms to urban centres and provide storage facilities for farm produce.

This is seen by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) to be a very good development.

Speaking with the media after Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta delivered the 2018 budget, Mr Charles Nyaabah, Programmes Officer for the PFAG said the 2018 budget is better than the previous years’

“Comparing this to the previous budget that we’ve had, it will not be fair to say that it is not good.  Last year, we had a total of about GH¢450 million devoted to the sector and out of that; about 420 was meant for fertilizer and seed subsidy, which represents about 93.6%”.

For him, this means that the allocations went for only a particular component especially when the agriculture sector is made up of the crop sector, the poultry, the livestock and the fisheries.

The crop sub-sector, which is the largest with about 50%, faces major problems with land preparation, access to inputs, post-harvest issues, irrigation and mechanization.

“Now, what this budget means is that, government has budgeted to purchase equipment for the improvement of the agric sector.  With this, we can say that the government has done well.

“However, there is a difference between budget allocation and money being disbursed.  What normally happened in the past was that government will say this amount of money has been allocated for the agric sector but when it comes to the actual implementation, the money is not released for the works to be done.  I hope this time around, the money that has been budgeted for will be released”, Mr Nyaabah stressed.

He also demands that funds be provided for the resolution fo the Fulani herdsmen invasion of farms.

“If you look at other areas especially the live-stock sector, cattle for instance, nothing has been said about cattle rearing.  If you really provide farmers with all these facilities and at the end of the day, they are being harassed from going into their farms, it means they will get  these facility but will not still be able to visit their farms”.