Professor Peter Quartey

Economist Professor Peter Quartey is urging government to do more to support the agriculture and the manufacturing sectors to help reduce inflation rate significantly.

Though he has commended government for some flagship programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs and the One District One Factory, Prof. Quartey maintained that coordinating government policies in the sector will help improve the supply side of inflation.

Speaking at the Absa Bank-UPSA Roundtable Programme, Prof. Quartey who is also the Director at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) said there is the need to enhance policy to boost the real sector of the economy, which is the engine for growth.

“Fiscal policy is important.  We’ve seen some fiscal measures in the budget statement, but what I will like to see is more support towards agriculture and manufacturing. With where we find ourselves, it tells us the need to enhance whatever support we have for the real sector through policy”.

He was of the view that even though government is responding to specific needs of farmers, it is important to address the issues holistically.

“I’ve seen the government put in the necessary structures to set up fertiliser factory in the country to avoid the shortfall. But we need to go beyond the fertilisers”, he mentioned.

He further said “irrigation is quite key; if you look at Burkina Faso for instance, they have gone very deep into irrigation that is why we import so much tomatoes and other things from Burkina Faso rather than growing locally. These are all supply side factors”.

Professor Quartey was also unhappy with the value chain of agriculture, saying, it has impeded growth.

“As I mentioned about the value chain storage, often times when the rains are good we record bumper harvest. We saw the case of plantain, they were virtually rotten because we didn’t have proper storage processing facilities to store some of these”.