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How NPP, NDC Manifestos Intend To Address Challenges In Trade, Industry And Agriculture

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In the area of trade and industry, the NDC intends to increase demand for locally manufactured goods through promotion of made in Ghana goods by... The 2020 manifesto of the NPP also talks about support for made in Ghana goods including ...

Written By Yaw Ohemeng Kyei - The two main political parties have presented their manifestos for Ghanaians to decide which of them can solve the numerous challenges in the country. Gradually Ghanaians have become discerning and the quality of party manifesto is correlating positively with probability of a party taking over the Jubilee House. It is obvious the New Patriotic Party (NPP) won the 2016 election on the basis of quality of its manifesto and there is no doubt the elections of 2020 will be won based on the quality and merits of a party’s manifesto. From careful analysis, both parties claim to have the welfare of Ghanaians at heart. Indeed, both parties seem to have policies which can help Ghana meet its targets in the Sustainable Development Goals. Both have policies that can help Ghana meet the Malabo declaration and AU Agenda 2025 which incidentally coincides with the end of term of whoever wins the 2020 elections. Both parties intend to fashion out policies to help Ghana maximize gains from Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Points of departure between the two parties are however on how to achieve, the means to an end, timelines, capacity, trust, goodwill and track record. In the area of agriculture, both parties talk about development of the value chain, availability of quality raw materials for industry and credit facility to the key stakeholders in the agricultural sector. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) proposes to reposition agriculture and agribusiness as key drivers for Ghana’s economic development. The main motive for this policy is to increase activities in the value chain, increase export and improve livelihood of farmers. The NDC intends to provide credit to farmers and those in agribusiness. Already there is an existing warehouse receipt in the system and Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool. It is not clear whether the NDC will consolidate the existing systems or set up a parallel system. In an alternative direction in agriculture, the NPP intends to link agriculture to industry through 1DIF. Linking agriculture to industry will lead to reduction in post-harvest losses which stand at 14 to 16 percent. Most companies under 1D1F require quality raw materials as inputs so linking agriculture to industry via IDIF is a brilliant idea that can help reduce the importation of raw materials, ensure ready market and income for farmers. The NPP already has in place a warehouse receipt system that takes care of credit to farmers. In addition, the Party intends to modernize agriculture along the entire value chain.

Secondly, both parties plan to increase production of some key crops. The NDC intends to pursue policies to increase and sustain production of cereals, staples, legumes, vegetables as well as develop market for tree, industrial and fruit crops. The intention of that policy is to help reduce post-harvest losses and improve the livelihood of farmers. Here, a similar policy has been executed by the NPP through planting for food and jobs, planting for export and rural development and revival of the grains and legumes board. The NPP insist on diversification of export-oriented large-scale agricultural enterprises in cocoa, palm oil, legumes, cereals, rice, poultry as well as promotion of import substitution. NDC also intends to introduce a pension scheme for cocoa farmers and embark on annual increment in cocoa producer price. Here, it is not clear whether they will increase cocoa producer prices even if the international market price falls. Some market watchers argue that introduction of pension scheme for cocoa farmers is discriminatory and will affect the morale of other cash crop farmers. Analysts are also not happy with the deliberate absence of time line for this particular policy.

In the area of trade and industry, the NDC intends to increase demand for locally manufactured goods through promotion of made in Ghana goods by taking advantage of the location of AfCFTA in Ghana to increase the export of locally manufactured goods. The 2020 manifesto of the NPP also talks about support for made in Ghana goods including supporting the use of local raw materials to enable them to take advantage of AfCFTA. The NDC also intends to set up startup companies to produce hygiene products including sanitary pads, revive some textile factories and establish agro-processing factories in various districts through PPP. In a similar fashion, NPP indicates in the 2020 manifesto that it will deepen and expand the one district one factory policy in diversity and national coverage. The point of variance is the fact that one proposes to focus on production of hygiene and agro products whilst the other intends to set up a factory where raw materials and other requirements are present. Analysts wonder if the NDC will focus solely on hygiene and agro products. The NDC also intends to formalize the informal sector assistance, training, tax holidays and financial support to the informal sector. There is an ongoing project by the NPP in the Enterprise Ghana Agency Bill which seek to merge the National Board for Small Scale Industries and the Rural Enterprise Project.

Both have presented their manifestos; the rest depends on Ghanaians to look at their track record and decide which of the parties can deliver on its promises. Over to you Ghanaians.




Source: gbcghanaonline

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