The Peasant farmers Association of Ghana has reviewed and identify political parties manifesto as important in setting national development agenda which has a crucial role in deciding the direction of agricultural development in the country and for that matter, political parties must adhere to every promise made in the manifestos when given the nod in 2017.
The Association over the week had a review on manifestos of the two biggest political parties in Ghana, the NPP and the NDC on the field of agriculture, since agriculture is the backbone of the economy, offering jobs to about 45% of the total population, where small holder agriculture takes more than 70% of agriculture productivity.
In a review of these manifestos, the association discovered many shortfalls in regards to agriculture which was displeasing according to the Peasant Farmers expectation that political parties need to observe and address immediately
Briefing the media on the assessment under the theme: “Making policies work for small holder agriculture, analyzing the agricultural manifestos for 2016 elections”, Mr. Charles Nyaaba, the Programme Officer of Peasant farmers association stated that, the association is not against the entire “Plant Breeders Bill” which is still in Parliament waiting to be passed as reported earlier.
He cautions government, Parliament and Political parties to refrain from passing legislations which discriminates against farmers’ seed rights such as choice of seed, access, control and ownership of seeds, also to ensure farmers active involvement in legislative decision-making at all levels.
They should commit withdrawal or reviewing the Plant Breeder’s Bill in its current and further, heedful not to enter into any agreement which will have a direct or indirect negative effect on small holder producers. He emphasized.
According to Mr. Nyaaba, political parties should note that they will be held accountable on the promises they make in their manifestoes, with agricultural development especially the small holder agriculture
He therefore urged political parties to champion a campaign for parliamentary Select Committee on Food and Agricultural to establish gender Sensitive Sub – Committee on Smallholder agricultural that will ensure women’s empowerment be assertive.
On behalf of the Association, Mr. Charles Nyaaba congratulated the two major political parties, which is the NPP and the NDC on their manifestos both which contains good strategies to develop agriculture, increase food production, incomes on small holder farmers as well as offering more jobs to the youth especially.
“I congratulate them on the areas that have been categorized as laudable in the analysis and I hope they take this in good faith and also consider reviewing the areas of weakness”. He added.
By: Blessing Roselyn Boateng