Ghana currently imports flowers from South Africa thrice a week – Senior Minister laments

Source The Ghana Report/Sefanam Agbobli

The senior minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo has expressed his frustration at the high rate of importation into the country.

He revealed the country currently imports flowers thrice a week from South Africa, a situation he described as unacceptable.

Speaking at a ceremony on behalf of President Akufo-Addo at the opening of the National Festival of Arts and Culture in Koforidua in the Eastern region, the former Finance Minister called on Ghanaians to support the Akufo-Addo government to end this trend.

In 2018, Ghana spent $1.35 billion to import rice.

According to Mr. Osafo Marfo, “When I was the Minister of Finance, Ghana spent ¢300 million on rice and we were complaining.

“The late Major Courage Quashigah was the Minister of Agriculture and he promised to reduce it to zero after 4 years but it was never achieved. Indeed, after four years, our rice import bill went from $300 million to $700 million”.

Mr. Osafo Marfo said such a development does not auger well for the country and as such cannot continue.

“….with the type of land we have, even in the forest areas the lowlands can grow rice to feed ourselves. As you go up to the north and fly over to Tamale you will see greenery flat lands that can produce rice for West Africa and we spent $1.35 billion of our scarce foreign exchange resources to import rice”.

He further stated that “I have not added the importation of chicken and even fruits and flowers, Ghana is now airlifting flowers from South Africa to Kotoka about 3 times a week. Is it right, can we continue this way? Certainly not, because we have all the gifts of riches and we need the leadership that will take us from this dependency that, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is providing and we should have all hands-on deck to go on the Ghana Beyond Aid mindset”.

Although the country engages in export activities, its imports supersede its exports.

The senior minister said the country can only achieve the development it seeks only if Ghanaians help move its economy from an import-dependent one to an export-driven economy.

“Let us at least feed ourselves, let’s export enough, earn enough to put our roads right. Everybody is complaining about bad roads network and it is a fact but how do you repair your roads, should we be going out asking for loans to do all our roads or we should be earning revenue from our resources to repair our roads” he puzzled.

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