Claim: Former Minister of Agriculture Dr Afriyie Akoto has claimed that Ghana’s agricultural growth has been accelerating for the past four to five years.
Verdict: False. Data from the Ministry of Finance shows that the growth of the agricultural sector for the past five years has recorded dips. In 2018 and 2019, it recorded 4.9% and 4.7%, respectively. This is after the industry recorded 6.2% in 2017.
On March 13, 2023, former Minister of Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto, appeared on PM Express, a current affairs TV programme on Joy News with broadcast journalist Evans Mensah as the host.
On the show, the aspiring flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said,
“The rate of growth in Agriculture, which is part of the rate of growth of the economy of Ghana, has been accelerating from the past four and five years.”
He said this after delivering a lecture on March 13, 2023, at the University of Professional Studies, Accra, under the theme “The Future of the Economy of Ghana.”
In his lecture, he indicated that Ghana’s fortunes could be turned around through the agricultural sector when given keen attention.
His claim can be found from 42-23 to 42-34 of the show, published on its YouTube channel, Joy News. The show had received a thousand views as of March 13, 2023.
First, DUBAWA sought to provide a working definition for the word ‘ascending’. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an ascending order as an arrangement of figures in increasing order, from the smallest to the largest. According to this definition, Mr Akoto meant that agricultural growth for the past five years had recorded higher gains till now.
DUBAWA’s searches were directed at the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Finance. However, we found out that the data quoted from Page 23 of the 2023 Budget and Economic Policy from the Finance Ministry were the same as those cited by the Ghana Statical Service. (GSS).
Thus, DUBAWA decided to rely on the data churned out by the Ministry of Finance. We discovered that figures recorded from 2017 to 2022 were 6.2%, 4.9%, 4.7%, 7.3%, and 8.4%, with 4.9% recorded growth from January to June 2022.
|AGRICULTURAL GROWTH (2017-2022)|
|Year||Ministry of Finance|
One will deduce that agricultural growth did not ascend throughout. Even though there was significant growth in the agriculture sector over the past five years, 2018 and 2019 recorded a dip of 4.9 and 4.7, respectively. This is after it recorded 6.2% in 2017 and 7.3% in 2020. In view of this, it is inaccurate for Mr Akoto to assert that the agric sector has been on an ascending trail in the past five years.
Even though there was significant growth in the agricultural space over the past five years when Mr Akoto took office as the Agric Minister, the sector’s development has not been ascending. It recorded a dip in 2018 and 2019.