Restructure The Economy, Starting With Agriculture – Sam Jonah to Gov’t

Dr. Sir Sam Jonah, Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has challenged the state to leverage on the current challenges bedeviling the country to restructure the economy, starting from the Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) sector.

He observed that Ghana’s economy, since independence, had been lar-driven and the insatiable appetite for “everything foreign” was central to her challenges.

Speaking at the 60th Anniversary grand durbar of the UCC, Dr. Sir Jonah indicated that the hardship, albeit global, presented the best opportunity for Ghana to start producing its own goods.

“Unless and until all of us take concrete measures and actions and implement them to have integrated economy, which will make us less dependent on foreign goods, I am afraid that our economic challenges will be further exacerbated,” he said.
The cost of food was a major component of every country’s economy and, therefore, it behooved on all stakeholders to take critical steps to improve accessibility and affordability.

“It is unconscionable that most of the tilapia and frozen chicken Ghanaians consumed are imported from China and the Netherlands and also rely on Burkina Faso for onion and tomatoes.”

Sir Sam Jonah said the Chinese, having taken over and destroyed the country’s lands, were now producing cocoa and exporting cassava, gari and yam.

Figures from the Ghana Statistical Service indicate that Ghana’s inflation soared to a record 37.2% in September from 33.9% in August, with food as a major driver.

Additionally, the country’s currency has assumed a free fall against the dollar with a dollar selling around 14 cedis, a situation that has sparked public hue and cry, especially among traders.

The free fall of the cedi means that there is higher demand for the dollar than there is supply due to overdependence on foreign countries for most of Ghana’s needs.

He, therefore, charged the UCC to lead the national effort in using cutting edge technologies and research to assist with the efficient implementation of the government’s economic and agricultural policies.

“Our School of Agriculture must lead the change in the production of improved varieties of our local foodstuffs, better yielding crops, cheaper poultry and aquaculture feeds among others,” he said.

“We are entrusting this school with the responsibility of ensuring that we grow we what we eat and eat what we grow.”
Dr Sir Jonah urged the university, as the best university in Ghana and West Africa, to establish strong bonds with relevant institutions such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and other local bodies pertinent to the development of agriculture.

“As a university, the success in this endeavour will make us more relevant in the noble fight for our economic emancipation.”

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