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02.06.2016 General News

Ghana's Economy Bigger Than Ivory Coast - Martin Luther 

By Cletus Abaare
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Mr. Emmanuel Max-Voy, a member of the National Democratic Congress in the Ashaiman Constituency has taking the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Akufo Addo to the cleaners over his assertion that Ghana imports plantain from Cote d’Ivoire.

It is recalled that Akufo Addo, addressing an NPP branch meeting in Paris on Saturday, May 28, disclosed that the once buoyant country - Ghana - particularly in the agricultural sector is sharply declining as it imports plantain from Cote d’Ivoire.

"When Kufour was leaving office in 2008, the food import bill for our country was $600 million. Mills and Mahama criticized Kufour for his performance and they promised to reduce it. Last year, the food import bill of our country was $1.5 billion. We are now importing plantain into Ghana! Agriculture, which in Kufour’s last year was growing at 7.4%; this last year was 0.04%. These are the facts about Ghana, they are not my inventions. You look at the official and budget statistics, you’ll find it there,” he said.

But the NDC failed parliamentary candidate in the Ashaiman constituency has punched deeper holes in Akufo Addo's remarks about the economy stating categorically that Ghana's economy is greater than that of Cote d’Ivoire and that Akufo Addo desperation to rundown the government has once again hit the rocks.

Mr Max-Voy popularly known as Martin Luther inclusive interview this paper stated that he was at a lost as to why a politician of Akufo Addo is constantly being engaging in politics of lies, desperation and propaganda without telling Ghanaians his policies or campaign message.

“I think the NPP flagbearer is certainly not in Ghana or he has lost touch with reality. Even the World Bank recently recognize that Ghana's economy is doing well under the Mahama administration and is bigger as compared to that of ivory coast”, he insisted.

He said the claims of the NPP Torchbearer that the country was importing plantain is blatant lies and cannot be true because there is excess of the product on the market.

Mr Max-Voy said statistics from the agriculture sector’s share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is 2.4% and not 0.004% as stated by Akufo Addo and therefore challenged to substantiate his claim or apologise to Ghanaians.

“There is no shortage of this commodity. Even in the Ashaiamn and Tema markets and other smaller markets we have the product in excess. Some if get rotten because people are not able to consume all. So what is he talking about”?, he queried

According to him, statistics available indicates that in 2015, farmers in Ghana produced 17 million metric tonnes of cassava; we need just about half of that to feed the population. This country’s farmers produced 3.9 million metric tonnes of plantain; we need about 2.3 million metric tonnes to feed the population. So how can you import what you have in excess?

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture also rejected claims that Ghana has added importation of plantain to its long list of food items imported into the country

“The supply into the market is a regulatory price receiving; that doesn’t mean we are importing into the country. And I’m saying that the statistics of what we have in the country is certainly more than what we need to consume,” the Deputy Agric Minister added.

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