The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has indicated that his next government will convert the Ministry of Food and Agriculture into a Ministry of Agriculture and Agribusiness.
This according to John Dramani Mahama would lead to the establishment of crop processing zones which would provide factories in farming areas.
Speaking during the commissioning of a cassava flour factory established by the MP for Kintampo North Kwasi Etu-Bonde, Mr Mahama stressed that unlike the ‘one district one factory’ policy which could not be implemented by the NPP, his government will establish the crop processing zones to make farming more attractive for the youth and improve the livelihood of farmers.
“Farming is not only about weeding or cultivation. After that is done, the farmers don’t know what to do. They harvest their crops and are forced to sell it soo cheaply. But if we had factories established in various farming areas, there will be better distribution and good prices for the farmers.
“So the aim of the NDC is now to establish this so farming will be more attractive.
“That is why the Ministry will be changed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Agribusiness so that these small factories will be scattered all over the country.
“We are not talking about one district one factory, its called crop processing zones.
“So wherever the people are planting either cassava or maize or tomatoes or mangoes, we will put up the necessary factory so those things will be processed to be used for something else,” he explained.
The former President also accused the government of compounding the economic hardship of farmers in the rural areas.
He bemoaned the price of some foodstuff which he claims have skyrocketed since the Akufo-Addo-led government took office.
“During our tenure, farmers could harvest yam in bulk and make good sales but today if you don’t take care, you can harvest yam and not be able to sell it.
“It is true that foodstuff must be cheap, but the farmer must also make money.
“So if the product is cheap and he is not making any money how is the country moving forward? So I will look at these issues and address it,” he pledged.
Mr. John Dramani Mahama is currently in the Bono East Region on a three-day campaign tour where he is expected to visit Sene East, Sene West, Atebubu-Amantin, and Nkoranza North and South Constituencies.
The tour is also expected to take him to Pru East, Pru West, Kintampo North, Kintampo South, and Techiman North and South Constituencies.
Whilst in the region, Mr. Mahama will use the opportunity to interact with traditional leaders, opinion leaders, professional groups, party sympathisers, and artisans in the eleven Constituencies.
The engagements with these identifiable groups will centre on the key policy issues in the NDC’s manifesto which has been dubbed, the ‘People’s Manifesto: Jobs, Prosperity and more’.