Planting for Food and Jobs has cushioned food basket – IEA

Accra- Dr John K. Kwakye, the Director of Research at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on Tuesday commended government for introducing the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) intervention, which has cushioned Ghana’s food basket over a period of time.

He said the PFJ interventions have improved the system, making the country a net exporter of foodstuffs with food prices now at its lowest for decades.

Dr Kwakye was reacting to the fourth State of the Nations Address delivered by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to Parliament on February 20.

He said again, in spite of the high proportion of labour that was tied to agriculture, productivity remained low.

Commenting on the energy sector, Dr Kwakye said, the President’s statement on successfully overcoming the energy crisis, and admission of more challenges that remained to be dealt with within the sector, was also true.

He also indicated that the restoration of uninterrupted power had indeed brought great relief to businesses and households.

He however, posited that steps should be taken to ensure that the energy sector was financially sustainable and avoid build-up of debt similar to the so-called legacy debt that accumulated in the sector with rippling effects on the banking sector and the economy as well.

On job creation, the IEA commended the government for introducing the NABCO and other interventions to address the unemployment challenges, but expressed concern that unemployment still remained a concern, particularly, among the youth.

Dr Kwakye said while the demand for labour remained constrained, the growing labour force lacked skills that would enable it contribute to rapid expansion of the economy to allow the creation of more jobs.

Focusing on corruption, Dr Kwakye said even though President Akufo-Addo said his government made strides in fighting corruption and strengthened the legal framework and accountability institutions, the perception and incidence of corruption remained high.

He explained that the prevalence and persistence of public corruption partly originated from the syndrome of winner-takes-all, based on defective Constitution, where political victors had monopoly over public appointments.

Source: Ghana News Agency