Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the 2012 vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, has noted that it would be important for Ghana to learn significant lessons from neighboring Burkina Faso on transforming and boosting our agriculture, particularly in Northern Ghana, and pledged that the Nana Akufo-Addo administration would aggressively focus on agriculture in the North, with the ultimate aim of making Northern Ghana the bread basket for Ghana and the sub-region.
Dr. Bawumia made the comments while touring the Saboba constituency on Thursday. Speaking in Sambule, Dr. Bawumia said, “There is no reason why the North as a whole should not become the bread basket of West Africa as a whole. Irrigation facilities, making sure those fertilizers are available, making sure that tractors are available and seeing to it that our roads are in very good shape would be critical in realizing this vision and a Nana Akufo-Addo administration is committed to implementing policies that would transform agriculture holistically.”
The NPP vice presidential candidate said that constructing the necessary irrigation facilities for farmers through the development of dams, boreholes and harnessing our rivers in that direction would be a very key component of the agriculture agenda under the NPP.
He bemoaned the continuous reliance on rainfall for agriculture, adding that it was about time that Ghana ended its over reliance on rain-fed agriculture as it affects production and makes agricultural production too unpredictable.
Dr. Bawumia also promised that the NPP would take practical steps to ensure that farmers access fertilizers affordably so as to boost their production and was disappointed that the current NDC administration had not found a solution to the continuous and sharp rises in fertilizer prices.
At Saboba, Dr. Bawumia also assured the people that the NPP government would focus on the real work to be done and would not engage in propaganda with the livelihoods of the people of the North, a clear departure from the current situation. He cited the case of the sheanut factory in Buipe which was commissioned amidst great fanfare and propaganda by the NDC administration, as a SADA project, but has not produced an ounce of shea butter due to various challenges it has.
“We will not do propaganda when we have not done the work. Why do I say this, you would remember that some time ago, the Produce Buying Company decided to set up a sheanut factory in Buipe. The NDC quickly claimed this factory as a SADA project and commissioned it as such. What people do not know is that till date, this factory has not produced an ounce of shea butter. We will not do propaganda with the lives of people. We will do the right thing”, he stated.
Dr. Bawumia's Northern Regional tour has already seen him touring six (6) constituencies in the North. In all, it is planned that he would tour the region for sixteen (16) days.