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24.02.2012 Business & Finance

Oil production should not lead to not neglect of agriculture - Asamoah

By GNA
Oil production should not lead to not neglect of agriculture - Asamoah
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Kumasi, Feb. 23, GNA - Mr Kofi Asamoah, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has called for effective and pragmatic strategies to promote the sustainability of the agricultural sector of the economy.

He said every effort should be made to protect the sector and cautioned against over-reliance on the oil and gas resources for national development adding that “we cannot afford to fail as a nation because we have lessons of other African countries producing oil to guide us.”

Mr Asamoah said this when addressing the closing ceremony of the ninth quadrennial delegates' conference of the General Agricultural Workers' Union (GAWU) in Kumasi.

The three-day meeting brought together more than 300 delegates from across the country to discuss ways of safeguarding the rights of the workers and how to achieve sustainable development of agriculture.

The TUC General Secretary expressed worry that despite the sector's significant contribution to the economy, it remained the least rewarding and blamed this on the dependence on nature, traditional farming methods and the use of the cutlass and the hoe.

He said the future looked gloomy as incomes from agriculture were expected to dip further because of the adverse impact of climate change.

Mr Asamoah said it could therefore not be business as usual and that more is needed to be done to deal with the threat and ensure sustainability.

He encouraged the Union to work hard to assist tackle the challenges facing the sector and boost production.

Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, the Food and Agriculture Minister, in a speech read for him said that the government had put in place a number of interventions to enhance agricultural sustainability for national development.

He said they would also continue to engage GAWU to plan and implement programmes towards national food security and management preparedness, incomes and growth, market access and sustainable land management and the environment.

Mr Kingsley Ofei-Nkansah, General Secretary of the Union, spoke of their determination to remain at the fore front of the effort at fighting low productivity.

GNA

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