Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, 2008 presidential candidate of the CPP, has saluted farmers and fishermen throughout the country for their contribution to national development efforts.
He said “Our farmers and fishermen have held up the economy and the Ghanaian standard of living more than any group in the country.”
In a statement, he expressed the view that as all the talk had shifted to oil and gas, it was important to pause and reflect on the fact that Ghana would have been a miserable place to live without the results achieved by farmers and fishermen.
“Faced with daunting challenges including the continued invasion of our ocean bed by foreign fishing trawlers, importation of even tilapia, high production costs, our farmers and fishermen must be congratulated for their staying power and the fact that they have made it possible for inflation to remain low,“ he said.
On this special day, Dr Nduom focused on the fishing industry and claimed that in the past few years, fishing communities in the Western, Volta, Greater Accra and Central regions had experienced increasing poverty in all its forms. Consequently, many children in those communities do not go to school or drop out of school at early ages.
“It is for these reasons that some of us from coastal communities have had to carry an increased burden as advocates and investors to improve the life experiences of the affected communities”, he said.
He appealed to the government to pay special attention to the fishing communities and the almost three million people whose lives depend on lake, river and ocean fishing.
Irregular supply of pre-mix fuel, activities of pair-trawlers, unsafe landing beaches and a general increase in the cost of fishing inputs have made many in the industry take on a heavy debt burden.
“As a member of the Convention People’s Party, I wish to remind Ghanaians that we have all known all along, the need to mechanise agriculture, build irrigation facilities and create a local market for the food we grow and fish we catch.
This is what the CPP offered to Ghanaians in our 2008 Manifesto, including a National Nutrition Policy to promote healthy lifestyles and raise the incomes of our farmers and fishermen; develop agricultural infrastructure including fish preservation and processing facilities and irrigation systems; strengthen farmer-based organisations to provide easier access to credit; and introduce crop insurance schemes.