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The Politics Of Agriculture And Oil

November 2, 2016 by oilgas in Stories By Alumni with 0 Comments

The Politics Of Agriculture And Oil

Figure 1-Trade Statistics Department, Ghana Statistical Service, 2016

Agriculture they say is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy however the growth of the sector has not been as desired. Low investment, climate change issues, inadequate irrigation facilities among other challenges plaguing the sector have led to low levels of production in various commodities leading to the importation of food items to feed the nation. The poultry industry has not been spared with the challenges. It is bedeviled with problems ranging from high cost of poultry feed, huge volumes of importation of poultry products and diseases like bird flu. Has money for Agriculture Modernization under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act affected production since the discovery of oil. Are farmers happy going to the polls this year? What are their concerns? GBC’s Dominic Hlordzi visited some farms in Ada and Kpone to find out the issues, matching them against the promises of the two major political parties, the NPP and NDC going into the elections.

Oil revenues for Agric Modernization

Ghana made over $3.2 billion from 2011 to 2015 from oil production. Out of the amount, about $1.4 million representing 44 percent of the revenues was allocated to the Annual Budget Funding Amount, ABFA. Parliament in 2011 in the spirit of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act approved the use of the ABFA for expenditure and amortization of loans for oil and gas infrastructure, Agriculture Modernization, roads and other infrastructure and capacity building.

The Agric sector received about GH¢328 million representing about 11 percent of total Petroleum revenues collected since the production of oil and the said amount is reportedly used for national fertilizer subsidy programme, procurement of farm equipment and supplies, support for Agric institutions, refurbishment of Laboratories, rehabilitation of irrigation facilities, construction of bungalows among others.

Onset of the “Dutch disease”?

Has these interventions yielded any results in the Agriculture sector? In the last six years, the sector reportedly grew at an annual rate of three-point-five percent as compared to an oil driven average annual growth of six-point-seven in the economy during the same period. Some critiques say the fact that Agriculture is growing less than half of the economic growth average, it is a signal of the onset of the “Dutch disease”.

Betty Sackey is a farmer and Coordinator of the Accelerated Youth Oriented for National Goal Anyongo Foundation operating in the Ada West and East Districts. She narrates the tales of farmers in the area. “Whoever wins the elections and there is oil money available for farmers, what I will say is that at the end of the day everybody will eat before sleeping, so we should look at subsidies. We have to subsidize the chemicals, fertilizers and other farm inputs where everybody will benefit. Other countries have reduced their cost of inputs, they have their products very very cheap and they bring them to the country and it is easy for us to buy than our people’s products. It is very bad.” Betty Sackey a farmer in Ada prays.

Agric Manifestos

What are the plans of the Political parties going into this year’s elections for the farmers? Will they ride on the back of oil and gas to boost food production in the country? In its Manifesto, the NPP says it will pursue a value-addition strategy, aimed at rapidly ramping up agro-processing, developing new and stable markets for products, ensure that farming inputs are readily available at affordable prices, tap into petroleum resources to produce fertilizers locally for the industry. The NPP says it will reactivate plans for irrigation by facilitating the provision of community-owned small-scale irrigation facilities across the country, especially in northern Ghana, through the “One Village, One Dam” policy. On poultry, the NPP says it will address challenges in the industry holistically. It intend supporting the private sector to expand local production of poultry feed and veterinary products, facilitating access to credit for poultry farmers, encourage local poultry meat processing and institute anti-dumping measures on poultry among other initiatives.

The NDC promised to launch a “Green Revolution” aimed at doubling the output of staple crops, particularly grains and tubers by 2025. Within the period, Ghana should become a net exporter of rice and maize, as well as become self-sufficient in poultry, sugar and tomato production. The Party pledged to construct storage facilities, including silos and cold storage units at strategic locations to minimize post-harvest losses, continue to develop efficient irrigation systems to support all-year-round farming, continue to provide nucleus population of broiler parents as the sustainable source of day old chicks for the poultry industry with the support of EXIM GHANA and other financial institutions and support large-scale production of domestic poultry, establish hatcheries, feed mills and processing plants among other programmes.

Mr. Isaac Nanor Sawer is a poultry and livestock famer at Kpone in the Kpone-Katamanso District. He said the importation of poultry products is killing the local poultry industry. “It is a good idea that those who frame that law thought very deeply and the government must adhere strictly to that law-Petroleum Revenue Act. Yes! Parliament should see to it that government acts on the law. They should not allow them to use the money for something else. They must use it for the Agric sector.” Isaac Nanor Sawer a poultry famer at Kpone stated.

PIAC believes in Agriculture

In its 2015 report PIAC urged the Ministry of Finance not to only ensure that allocations to the Agriculture modernization gets disbursed but also ensure that the priority area retains its position on the priority sectors to benefit from the ABFA beyond 2016, adding that the 11 percent of total petroleum revenues allocated for the Agriculture sector described as the mainstay of the economy is inadequate. Well time will definitely tell if politicians will heed to suggestions and invest in agriculture so as to end the huge importation of food items into the country. Take a listen to the audio report

By Dominic Hlordzi
hlordzidominic@gmail.com

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Revenue mobilization from the oil sector for Agricultural production in Ghana, a myth or reality?

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    • Comment by Godwill Arthur-Mensah,my take on the mobilization of oil revenues

    I strongly believe that the petroleum revenues had not been strategically invested in the agricultural sector and I agree with Dr. Ishmael Ackah, the Head of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), who stated in a forum in Takradi last year that Government have not made strategic investment in agriculture because in 2014 budget, 70 percent of the agriculture budget went into the construction of  four sea defence walls projects, instead of food crop production or aquaculture.

    Currently, the cost of cassava is very high in the Western Region and in other parts of the country because the demand had outstripped supply due to decline in production.

    Over the years, growth in the agricultural sector had declined, recording growth of 7.4 per cent in 2008 followed with 7.2 per cent, 5.3 per cent and 0.8 per cent in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively, according to statistics available to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

    It is unfortunate that Government had been replacing its normal allocation to the agricultural sector with petroleum revenues allocation as determined by the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA), instead of the Petroleum revenues complementing the usual allocations.

    Moreover, some peasant farmers in the Western Region had complained bitterly that oil and gas companies had bought arable land meant for agricultural purposes for the construction of their warehouses and thus, deprived them of their livelihoods.

    Godwill Arthur Mensah

    GNA, Regional correspondent(Western Region)

    mensahgodwill@gmail.com

    0
    Comments by Justice Adoboe

    Ghana must avoid making the oil and gas sector another enclave economy.

    Ghana must avoid making the oil and gas sector another enclave economy as the mining sector has been over the years. The fact that our oil sector is a very small one whose direct  impact on the economy in general is quite negligible so far is the same reason part of the revenue accruing from the sector should be re-invested in agricultural development.

    Petroleum can cease to flow tomorrow, but our arable lands which are crying for cultivation will still be  there, investing and the decisions and efforts we make today at investing in the agric sector modernization is what will determine our food security tomorrow.

    As Climate Change is becoming a reality in our case with prolonged drought, short periods of rain but causing severe flooding, especially affecting the northern sector which is Ghana’s granary and the source of legumes and many root crops, the need  of investing in  irrigation across the length and breadth of the country is no more a in doubt but an issue demanding immediate action.

    If we can invest in a quarter of the 1.9 million hectares of irrigable land the country has, we can be assured of an all-year round production of certain key food crops that we spend scarce foreign exchange importing today

    so far only 28,000 hectares of irrigable lands have been irrigated across the country, so you see why we keep importing tomatoes from Burkina Faso.

    Beyond investment in crop cultivation, we also need investment in the other portions of agriculture value chain, talking about input production, storage and timely  supply, modern harvesting, drying and storage methods and facilities.

    As we see investments coming into cocoa processing so also must we invest into food processing and marketing in order to prolong the availability of our key staples.

    If we put these things into practice, the need for GMOs for higher production won’t arise.

    Meanwhile, as we do these investments, the number of those going to be in direct cultivation would reduce, but the other portions along the value chain that would be developed, input production, storage and distribution; drying, processing; storage as well as marketing have the potential to yield more jobs that are higher paying than the sector does now.

    Taking the first step of putting money into the real needs of the agriculture sector is key. As for the reason it was the agric sector investment that had its budget slashed last year as a result of the oil price drops I think was a decision not well thought-out.

    Justice Lee Adoboe

    Senior Correspondent Accra Bureau of the Xinhua News Agency

    devitor2002@yahoo.com

    web: www.xinhuanet.com/enlish-Africa www.fighana.com

     

     

    0

    MESSAGE FROM DR ISHMAEL ACKAH:  Revenue mobilization from the oil sector for Agricultural production in Ghana, a myth or reality?(DISCUSSION)

    1. Is there a relationship between the fortune of the agriculture sector and a rise of the oil and gas sector?
    Answer: Yes. The oil sector affects agriculture in two main ways. First is the labour  mobility effect. The oil sector draws on the agriculture and other sectors for labour. There are instances where the youth especially leave their farms to go and look for non-existing jobs in the oil sector,. Second, increased foreign exchange into the economy can lead to the appreciation of the cedi and make agriculture inputs expensive, which will in turn make agriculture exports expensive and non-competitive. Both channels can lead to reduction in agriculture output.
    1. What are the drivers or rationale to move resources from oil and gas to agriculture sector?
    Oil resources have two main limitations. First, since oil prices are volatile, revenues are volatile too. Second, oil resources are exhaustible. Due to these reasons, countries that have been successful in managing their oil resources well diversify. Since agriculture provides a competitive advantage to Ghana in terms of fertile land, cheap labour and productive, it is important to build the agriculture sector with oil revenues to serve as a buffer during oil price shocks.
    1. Which countries are suffering a decline in agriculture due to the discovery of oil and gas?
    Nigeria was once the number 1 palm oil producer in the world before oil production started around 1958.
    1. Does Ghana have an inter-sectorial link between the Petroleum and Agriculture ministry?
    No.However, the Finance Ministry usually unofficially serve as the link between different Ministries
    1. Is it a reality that revenues from the oil sector has been mobilized for Agricultural development or not?  If it is what are the things to show?  How many people have benefited from the Oil revenue in the agriculture sector?
    Agriculture is one of the four priority areas that have received oil revenues over the past 5 and half years. Agriculture received about 9.2% of the total oil revenues in the first 5 years. This is relatively low compared to GNPC’s 39%. There is little to be shown for this investment since the sector faces challenges such as oil revenues substituting instead of  complementing traditional sources of funding such as IGF, GOG and development partners. In addition, there are issues of misapplication. For instance, in  2014, 170,62 million Ghana cedis or 43.91 million U.S. dollars was allocated to the agriculture sector from oil revenues.Out of this amount 69 percent went into sea defence projects. Finally, allocation from oil revenues to agriculture has seen a ”see-saw” trend. For example, in 2013, 2.5% of ABFA wa allocated to agriculture. This increased to 31% in 2014 and reduced to 3.5% in 2015. In 2016, it is projected to be 28%. This affects proper planning and productivity. The sector needs an investment plan, guided by effective monitoring and evalutaion and measurable indicators
    6. Oil Revenues as Substitutes instead of complement to the Agric. sector
    Yes. Oil revenues now constitute more than 90% of the capital and goods and service budget of agriculture. This means agriculture will be affected most when there is low oil prices.
    7. Low level  of oil revenues investment in agriculture
    Yes. agriculture has received only 9.2% of oil revenues over the past 5 years.
    8. Have the oil producing districts shown decline in the Agriculture production?
    The oil is produced offshore and the fishermen have been complaining about low catch since the oil production. Alternative livelihood systems have been developed by oil companies.However, it should be institutionalized and properly targeted.
     Inline image
    Ishmael Ackah, Ph.D
    Head of Policy Unit 
    Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP)
    Accra-Ghana
    Email: ackish85@yahoo.com
    Repec:https://ideas.repec.org/e/pac69.html
    Academia: https://port.academia.edu/IshmaelAckah
    0

    Comment from Malise Otoo- THE MYTH OF OIL REVENUE IMPACT ON AGRIC IN GHANA

    My take on this issue is that the development of Agriculture in Ghana as a result of oil is purely a myth with very little result to show for.

    A 2014 Annual Report of the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) suggests that West and Central Africa received in excess of US$157.8 Million representing about 22.1% of the total share of  US$713.4 Million funds for financing programmes and projects approved in 2014 alone.

    Although IFADs core mandate is to finance the growth of Agriculture and its value chain to ensure food security in countries, it has interestingly started funding natural resource management especially in cities where these God-given resources are found.

    The following is how the various sub-sectors were impacted through the distribution.

    Agriculture and natural resource management – 32%, Market and related infrastructure – 16%, Rural financial services – 13%, Others 13%,

    Policy and institutional support – 10%Community-driven and human development – 8%, Small and microenterprises – 7%

    Therefore, in 2014 Ghana received its share of the funds distributed  with a breakdown as follows;

    GHANA: Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP)

    GASIP will work to reduce poverty in rural Ghana sustainably.

    It will have three components: value chain development; rural value chain infrastructure; and knowledge management, policy support and coordination. Smallholder farmers and resource-poor rural people will be the main targets, particularly women, young people (aged 15-24 years) and young adults (aged 25-34 years). This national programme will be governed by a demand- and market-driven approach. The initial design and financing will cover the first two cycles (six years).

    Approved loan amount: SDR 23.7 million (equivalent to approximately US$36.6 million)

    Approved ASAP grant amount: SDR 6.5 million (approximately US$10.0 million)

    Total programme cost: estimated at US$113.0 million, of which national government will provide US$7.6 million, beneficiaries US$4.6 million, districts US$1.7 million and participating financial institutions US$17.5 million. IFAD is expected to seek additional financing of US$35.0 million in 2016-2018

    Approximate reach: 55,000 households .

    Although Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantities in 2010, and attained middle-income status in 2011, the overarching effect of oil revenue on Agric in this regard is yet to be felt with Agriculture contributing only some  0.04% of GDP.

    We should perhaps take note that Ghana has also been the largest recipient of IFAD‘s loans and grants in the West and Central Africa region since 1980.

    As a journalist, it beats my imagination why these resource nations find it extremely difficult to adequately fund Agriculture which employs the majority of its people. Perhaps Ghana is not alone in this struggle. Uganda, Mozambique and Tanzania can all be fingered. But this should no way be an escape for our leaders to sit up and salvage the situation.

    Finally, the recent Panama Papers which exposed two sons of prominent leaders allegedly involved in illicit financial flows and tax havens i.e Former President John Agyekum Kufour and Kojo Annan, son of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan should not be swept under the carpet.

    Civil Society organizations like ACEP in Ghana should not be hypocritical to this and they cannot turn a blind eye on the matter. Ghanaians need to be educated on the truth on the issue and certain outcomes reached in this regard.

    Malise Otoo

    Managing Editor,
    Ghana Daily News
    No. 10A Christianborg Castle Road, Osu-Accra, Ghana
    P.O.Box DK 817, Darkuman, Accra
    listeningp.gh@gmail.com
    0
    Comments from Tanko Mohammed Rabiu
    OIL FOR AGRICULTURE
    As Ghana congratulates and award farmers today in Bolgatanga in the upper east region, a lot of farmers’, agriculture experts and energy experts are calling on the government to invest heavily in agriculture from the oil revenues. This according to them agriculture contributes faster to poverty reduction than does industrial investments. Agricultural spending has wider redistributive effect citing some examples; Indonesia used its oil rents to supply fertilizer to farmers and develop new crops, building the basis for the country’s green revolution. They also invested heavily in agricultural research to identify new commodities that could improve on export potential. Malaysia invested its oil revenues into forestry and palm oil, building very successful industries. Chile, used proceeds from copper to invest into new agricultural commodities, such as salmon, a product that had not been part of the country’s export products before and other countries who are also using oil revenues to improve in agriculture.
    At the height of the global financial and economic crises in 2007, Ghana discovered oil and gas in commercial quantities estimated at 1.8 billion barrels reserves. In spite of the modest production levels, oil has now become the second largest export of Ghana – US$2.7 billion in 2011 to US$3 billion in 2012; following gold and overtaking cocoa since then. Ghana is also gradually becoming a net exporter of crude oil with oil imports of US$3.3 billion in 2012 versus oil exports of US$3 billion. Over the last 4 years, Ghana earned about US$2.7 billion in revenues to the state. With new discoveries being developed, Ghana could earn more from its share of crude oil. With increasing oil revenues as a result, many are skeptical if Ghana can avoid the curse of oil and transform its oil wealth into positive development outcomes.
    In Ghana, research has shown that at the national level, agricultural public expenditures have the highest returns in terms of agricultural productivity. For one marginal cedi invested in agriculture, GH¢16.8 is returned, feeder roads – GH¢8.8, Health – GH¢1.3. In spite of the potential of this sector to contribute to the country’s development, there continue to exist a wide funding gap in public expenditure. Agricultural share of public spending is currently at 8.5%, which has been insufficient to generate the levels of growth that would reduce poverty levels significantly. This is lesser than the Maputo Declaration of a minimum spending of 10%. If Ghana is to become a full middle-income country by 2015 and see decline in poverty rates of almost 70 percent, the share of agricultural expenditure in public spending would have to almost double from the current 8.5 to 14.1 percent.
    Nevertheless, Allocation of oil revenues to agriculture was increased in the 2014 Budget from GHS20 million in 2013 to GHS136 million in 2014. Agriculture share of oil revenues were allocated to investments focused on small holder farming but farmers are asking for more improvement in the sector. In a telephone interview with the 1996 national best farmer Aloko Dongo who is still in active farming expressed his dissatisfaction on the declining state of agriculture saying farmers do not have access to credit facilities to enhance in their activities. He said many a times a lot of farmers commit suicide after failing to pay back loans taken from financial institutions and said lack of access to market, storage facilities and disease control.
    Speaking to Dr. Amin Adam, the executive director for Africa center for energy policy, ACEP, in an exclusive interview after his presentation on political economy of Ghana’s oil and gas sector/follow the money at a media training for journalist in the extractive sector, said agriculture is the easiest way to reduce poverty in Ghana looking at the scope of the agriculture industry where the sector has more working force. He said there is the need for more citizen participation in decision making process I the oil and gas sector so as to benefit the poor and the vulnerable.
    On the morning of the national farmers’ day celebration, TV3’s morning show “new day” hosted O.B Amoah, a member of the NPP, John abdulai Jinapor deputy minister of power and a member of the CPP. All the panelists reiterated the need for government to invest more of the oil revenue to agriculture and mean while John Jinapor said despite these challenges, government is investing a lot in agricultural industrialization from different funding sources examples like the fomenda sugar factory, shea butter factory at Buipe, rice mills in Tamale and Nasia.
    According to the 2015 budget, 3.95% of the total budget went to agriculture and only 1.39% was spent and in the 2106 budget it declined to 3.5% which according to agriculture expert is not encouraging and not good for a developing country like Ghana. An amount of GHC 501,501, 708.00 is allocated to the agriculture ministry representing 3.5%.
    Most of the farmers I spoke to want more share of the oil revenue to agriculture because agriculture is the most easiest way to reduce poverty and the only sector where the poor can make livelihood from without huge investments.
    The table below shows how oil revenues were allocated to agriculture from 2012 to 2013.
    ALLOCATION OF OIL REVENUES TO AGRICULTURE
    A DECLINING TREND
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           SECTORS                               ABFA 2012        RANK     ABFA 2013    RANK
    Office of the President
    65,000,000
    2
    20,000,000
    Parliament of Ghana
    5,000,000
    Finance and Economic Planning
    9,000,000
    28,850,000
    6
    local government
    15,000,000
    5,000,000
    Food & Agriculture
    53,000,000
    4
    20,000,000
    8
    Lands & Natural Resources
    33,840,000
    Trade & Industry
    13,040,610
    5,000,000
    Envir, Science & Technology
    25,000,000
    300,000
    Tourism and Culture
    5,000,000
    Energy
    130,000,000
    1
    130,000,000
    1
    Water Resources, Wrks & Housing
    21,000,000
    59,517,043
    3
    Roads and Highways
    40,000,000
    5
    100,000,000
    2
    Transport
    70,000,000
    3
    40,000,000
    4
    Education
    20,000,000
    10,000,000
    Health
    29,900,000
    5
    Employment & Social Welfare
    10,000,000
    300,000
    Youth & Sports
    22,000,000
    Interior
    25,000,000
    23,000,000
    7
    MDAs Total
    576,008,674
    476,867,043
    Source: ACEP
    Tanko Mohammed Rabiu
    Regional Correspondent, Tamale
    TV3 News Network Limited
    rabiutanko@hotmail.com

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