A group in the Northern Region called the Concerned Northern Youth of Ghana have accused former President John Dramani Mahama of failing to prioritise the wellbeing of Ghanaians in that part of the country during his regime.
The group appear to have been angered by the former President for claiming that the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative of the Akufo-Addo government has failed.
Mr. John Dramani Mahama in an interview on Moonlight while on his thank you tour said it is possible the country will even witness food shortage next year.
Unhappy by the claim of the former President, the Concerned Northern Youth of Ghana has mounted a defense for the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
According to the group, contrary to the claim by the former President, the Planting for Food and Jobs has been successful and the Northern Region have been one of the biggest beneficiaries.
The Concerned Northern Youth of Ghana says during the regime of Mahama, little attention was given to the people of the Northern Region even when he knew most of the people there are farmers.
“The greedy and incompetent former President never cared about the welfare of we of the northern sector during the entire period of his regime yet he wants to play the devil's advocate by speaking against the programme of which we have been the biggest beneficiaries, and therefore, serving as a major source of revenue generation for natives of the northern part of Ghana,” part of the release from the group has said.
Asserting that Mr. Owusu Akoto Afriyie is the best Ghana has had in years, the Concerned Northern Youth of Ghana further extend commendation to the Agric Minister for considering the people of the Northern Sector in putting together the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) through his inclusion of some of the major cash crop trees such as Shea and mango.
Below is the full release from the Concerned Northern Youth of Ghana:
We Have Been the Biggest Beneficiaries of Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto’s Planting For Food and Jobs policy; Stay off Incompetent Mahama
By Concerned Northern Youth of Ghana
The 2020 Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, is on record to have described the flagship programme, Planting For Food and Jobs (PFJ) as a failed enterprise, and as well, predicted a likely food shortage in Ghana come 2022 while speaking on Moonlite FM in Sunyani as part of his “Thank You Tour” of the Bono region. The former President in furtherance claimed that, the PFJ Programme was an initiative of the previous NDC administration which has been poorly managed, and that, his regime secured funding from the Canadian Government for its implementation.
It is trite knowledge that, the Planting for Food and Jobs is a wholly Government of Ghana (GoG) funded programme and very different from the Modernising Agriculture Ghana (MAG) programme; which involves a $100M Canadian Grant; exclusively meant for the expansion of extension services programme, of which John Mahama is confusing with it.
Since John Mahama is noted for taking credit and downplaying programmes which have been of immense significance to Ghanaians, such as the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), among others, handlers of the former President should draw his attention to the fact that, Ghanaians would not fall for his usual antics. More over, the citizens are very much aware of how abysmal the agricultural sector performed under his regime so he should not for a moment consider any attempt to sabotage the policy and as well snatch the glory of Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the best ever performing Minister for Food and Agriculture in Ghana, with such bogus claims, because, we are ready to resist any of such attempts with the churning out of the facts to thwart his propaganda and misinformation. It is worthy of note that, the Agricultural GDP growth rate of crops grew from 2.2% in 2016 to 8.7% in 2020; approximately four times the GDP growth under the regime of former President John Mahama.
In fact, through the unwavering efforts by Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Ghana was rated fourth (4th) on the African Continent by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) in its Global Food Security Index (GFSI) in 2019. The Country has also been rated as the most resilient against food shortages or famine in West African sub-region as reported by the Permanent Interstate Committee for drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) in its 2020-2021 report.
During the interview, Mr. Mahama in addition mentioned that many farmers including his own brothers have not received the subsidized fertilizers promised by the President Akufo-Addo led government for the 2021 season, but we also beg "Mr. Do or Die" for the answers to the questions below:
1. Were his brothers not into farming during his tenure of office as President of the Republic?
2. Were they getting access to fertilizers, not to even mention that of the subsidized ones?
It is noteworthy that, before the advent of the COVID-19, supply of inputs under the PFJ programme never experienced any challenges. However, COVID-19 posed serious challenges on government’s revenue generation capacity, leading to the effects on the general subsidy of fertilizers under the programme. Despite these challenges, it is still suffice to note that, fertilizer distribution has increased from 134,000 metric tonnes in 2016 to 520,000 metric tonnes in 2021; approximately four times of what was distributed under the regime of former President John Mahama.
The greedy and incompetent former President never cared about the welfare of we of the northern sector during the entire period of his regime yet he wants to play the devil's advocate by speaking against the programme of which we have been the biggest beneficiaries, and therefore, serving as a major source of revenue generation for natives of the northern part of Ghana. Despite former President Mahama’s knowledge that, one of the major occupations that engages majority of the population of this geographical sector of the Country is the crop and livestock sector of agriculture, he still accorded it very little priority as compared to under the leadership of Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto. His attempt to sabotage the PFJ and the Minister for Food and Agriculture is just a clear indication that, he just seeks for us to remain and wallow in abject poverty as he pursued under his regime.
In furtherance, per the reports by CILSS and other credible international organizations, it can be factually placed that, Ghana will not face food shortage in 2022 due to the Planting for Food and Jobs programme which is giving giving Mr. Mahama and the NDC party sleepless nights. The programme is much on course and farmers of the northern part of Ghana are very excited with the performance, dedication and achievements of the Sector Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, which has aided them to increase their farm size and yield for commercial purposes.
We, Concerned Northern Youth of Ghana would also commend Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto for considering the people of the Northern Sector in putting together the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) through his inclusion of some of the major cash crop trees such as Shea and mango which thrive favorably under the environmental conditions of the area. We believe that, such an initiative would hugely improve the economy of the area due to the Authority’s intended revenue generation of 15 billion US dollars annually for Ghana.
THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL MINISTER IS UNDOUBTEDLY THE BEST MINISTER IN GHANA.
Concerned Northern Youth of Ghana