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EJN Calls for Political Debate on Agrarian Transformation

PRESS RELEASE

Date: 16th October 2012

As part of its contribution to issues-based campaigns towards the December polls, and today being World Food Day, the Economic Justice Network (EJN) is pleased to bring to the fore of our political debate the issues of agriculture and rural transformation through its second lecture in the series christened ‘Agriculture and rural development, the latent wealth of the savannah’ in Tamale. The EJN is of the view that transforming agriculture and tackling the production and marketing constraints of small scale farmers, men and women, in rural Ghana, where all the problems of poverty are sharply experienced should be one of the topical issues as the country heads towards the December polls.  

The Economic Justice Network (EJN), a national platform of civil society organisations devoted to equitable national economic development, is made up of trade unions, farmers’ organisations, associations from industry and services, women’s rights and equality organisations, faith-based organisations and non-governmental organizations.  

Talking on rural transformation and agriculture, Tetteh Hormeku of the Third World Network-Africa is of the view that ‘the gap between the contribution of agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and scale of employment is due to the fact that most of the output is produced by small holder farmers on family operated farms using rudimentary technology.  The situation these rural small-holder farmers who form the bulk of the rural population, and their marginalisation in terms of investment, finance, rural infrastructure, constitute the basic conditions of poverty experienced by Ghana’s majority.   By the same token, the challenge of addressing poverty is a challenge of the transformation of the conditions of production and life in rural agriculture’.

Impressive views were expressed by farmers. ‘Farmers and producers are interested in a comprehensive approach to the issue of agriculture in Ghana. We are interested in irrigation dams, farm inputs and factories that can absorb the produce from us. Ghana cannot continue to import food when we can produce the same here if the needed political light is turned on it’, Mohammed Nashiru, the President of Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, stated.

At this stage of our development, the EJN is calling for policies that link agriculture and industry. Unless there is value addition to agricultural produce and the production constraints tackled purposefully by the Government, food self sufficiency will continue to elude Ghanaians. The EJN therefore hopes that the issues on agrarian transformation will equally take centre stage on the political debates as the Country heads towards the December polls.

For further clarification contact: Ibrahim Akalbila, 0244635699; Sylvester Bagooro; 0269613132

Released BY ECONOMIC JUSTICE NETWORK OF GHANA

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