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Latest Ghana News 3.11.2012 - November 

President Mahama promises to hinge Ghana's economy on modernised agriculture
Man arrested for spreading HIV
Volta Boycotts Farmers’ Day
NDC denies abusing incumbency
Mahama 'angry' over salary increases - NDC
Mahama slipped; Nana Addo lied over Cuba training at IEA debate- Kwakye Ofosu
Battle over toilet ends up in court
NPP did not add a single megawatt of power to national grid - NDC

Latest GhanaWeb News:

President Mahama promises to hinge Ghana's economy on modernised agriculture

Source: GNA

President John Dramani Mahama on Friday pledged that his Government would transform Ghana’s economy using agricultural modernisation as a tool, when re-elected for another four-year term.

He added that Government would implement the Food and Agricultural Development Policy and the Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan as the two main strategies to achieve agricultural modernisation.

Speaking at the 28th National Farmers’ Day Celebration organised at Abokobi in the Ga East District of Accra, President Mahama said the strategy would include transformation of the agricultural sector from a resource-based to a technology-based industry and would lay emphasis on irrigation agriculture.

He added that the Government would provide subsidies for improved seeds, grade breeder and stocks, pesticides, fertilisers, machinery and other inputs.

President Mahama said promotion of selected crops for food security and exports, establishments of industries with backwards linkages to agricultural resource base, construction of storage facilities, silos, cold storage units and modern markets in strategic locations to minimise post-harvest losses, would be other strategies his Government would adopt.

“Implementation of the Ghana Commercial Agricultural Programme, particularly as it relates to strengthening investment promotion infrastructure, facilitating secure access to land, and securing public private partnerships and smallholder linkages in the Accra plains, the Savannah Accelerated Development Project Zone, Afram Plains and other deprived areas,” he added.

President Mahama noted that his Government had achieved a lot in the agricultural sector adding that “productivity enhancing strategies including timely availability of needed farm inputs, opening up of marketing opportunities and scaling up credit support for agricultural purposes,” were responsible for the achievements.

He said rice production had increased from 181,000 metric tonnes of milled rice in 2008 to 295,000 metric tonnes in 2010, stressing that it was a 63 per cent increase over the 2008 figure.

President Mahama said: “Ghana now produces 53 per cent of her rice requirement locally up from 30 per cent in 2009 and has reduced rice imports by 30 per cent.

“Maize production has increased from 1.5 million metric tonnes in 2008 to 1.9 metric tonnes in 2010 and 1.7 million metric tonnes in 2011; cassava rose from 11.4 million tonnes in 2008 to 14.2 million metric tonnes in 2011,” he added.

President Mahama said the cotton industry which had collapsed had been revived adding that in 2010 and 2011 season, 200,000 hectares of land was cropped by 23000 farmers to produce 17000 metric tonnes of seed cotton with an estimated lint production of 6655 metric tonnes.

He said that fish production increased by 17 per cent from 100,935 metric tonnes to 118,504 metric tonnes.

“Of the meat production poultry increased by 32 per cent from 31,056 metric tonnes in 2008 to 41,008 metric tonnes in 2011.”

President Mahama said: “Fish production increased by 1.3 per cent from 416,552 metric tonnes in 2008 to 421,898 metric tonnes in 2011 of which aquaculture production increased from 7,200 metric tonnes in 2009 to 19,091 metric tonnes in 2011.”

He added that export earnings from fish and fishery products increased from $158 million to $256 million for the same period.

President Mahama commended farmers and fishers for their hard work, which contributed towards the achievements.

Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture said government had resourced the Ministry to undertake critical interventions including land administration and management, agricultural mechanisation, fertiliser subsidy programme, national buffer stock company, youth in agriculture block.

He said the interventions would open up the sector to modern business culture and technology adoption and to make Ghana’s agriculture and farmers competitive in the global market.

Mr Ahwoi commended the 80 sponsors for their contribution and support towards the celebration.

Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister called for capacity building programmes for farmers and fishers to enable them compete globally.

Meanwhile an Accra-based farmer Lemuel K. Martey of Mannah Farms Limited was adjudged the National Best Farmer for 2012.

He is expected to receive a three-bedroom house and a pick-up vehicle.

The First Runner up went to 51-year-old Enoch Elder Tei from the Greater Accra Region, while Ellen Tia, a 28 year-old from the Upper East Region was adjudged the Second Runner up.

Kwamina Oboh from the Central Region was the National Best Fisherman.

In all, 74 farmers and fishers were honoured for their outstanding contribution to the economy.

The theme for the 28th Edition of the Farmer’s Day Farmer’s Day celebration was: “Grow more food: strengthening farmer based organisations for market place bargaining power”.


Man arrested for spreading HIV

Source: ETV-ghana

Police have arrested a 37 year old HIV positive man at Asylum Down in Accra for intentionally infecting several women with the virus.

Cops from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service picked up Daniel Kwame Adu during a live radio interview at Happy FM during which he confessed to the allegation in the presence of one of his victims who is only 16 years old.

The 37 year old Daniel Kwame Adu appeared on Happy FM on Tuesday with a sixteen year old pregnant girl who claims to have been impregnated by the suspect.

Their issue was that Daniel, an HIV/AIDS carrier had sexual intercourse with the girl with the intent to pass on his HIV virus to her.

The girl happens not to be the only lady, who Daniel could possibly have infected with the virus.

Daniel accepted responsibility for the act and confessed to have had unprotected sex with many other women though he knew he had the virus.

Officials of the Domestic Violence Unit swooped into the Happy Fm studios whilst the discussion was ongoing and arrested Daniel.


Volta Boycotts Farmers’ Day

Source: Daily Guide

This year’s Volta Regional Farmers’ Day which was expected to attract thousands of people from across the region ended up being inches away from fiasco as it was heavily boycotted.

The event, which was held at the Jubilee Park in Ho, was badly patronised to the extent that even the dais where dignitaries were to sit had more than half the chairs empty.

Had it not been for the Police Band, award winners and their families, some staff of the Regional Agric office and some security personnel present, the event would have been held with no one sitting on the chairs.

For the first time in the history of the Jubilee Park, journalists who hitherto would have been standing or struggling with members of the public for space and chairs, had more than enough chairs to sit on.

Another interesting observation was that the Regional Minster, Henry Ford Kamel, had to wait for about one-and-a-half hours before the start of the programme, which was two hours behind time.

The hoisting of the national flag at the Jubilee Park was done about half way through the programme, long after the national anthem had been played.

The site was not only appalling but very uninspiring, as the award winners, who spoke to DAILY GUIDE, noted that they were highly disappointed in the patronage and wondered what had gone wrong.

While some blamed it on the strike by civil servants, the majority blamed it on poor organisation.

Some of the award winners disclosed to DAILY GUIDE that they were only informed a night to the event and so came unprepared.

Others also noted that there was not enough publicity for the event at least in the regional capital if not the entire region.

Others lamented about the items given to them, describing them as “woefully inadequate to advance their work”. Sources close to the Agriculture Ministry also admitted that the organisation of the programme had some challenges and bottlenecks.

“There is no doubt that the ongoing indefinite strike of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) has affected today’s programme,” the Regional Director of Agriculture, John Trakasu, lamented.

According to him, even some workers of the Agriculture Ministry in the region did not attend the programme.

He commended the 28 award winners for their dedication towards feeding the region.

Mr. Trakasu alias ‘Cowboy’ noted that the region’s agricultural produce had grown steadily for the past year.

He was hopeful that next year’s farmers’ day would be problem-free.

Mr Kamel commended the award winners and urged them to take advantage of the various government interventions designed to improve farming and fishing in the country.

He encouraged the award winners not to worry about the tokens but rather be concerned about the certificates, which he said could help them to secure loans from banks and other favours to advance their work.

Mr. Kamel also called on investors to consider the wind energy potential of the south eastern part of the region for irrigation and large scale farming.

A high point in the event was when the immediate former deputy Regional Minister, Col. Cyril Necku, was awarded as the best fish farmer in the cage culture category.

The overall best farmer for the region went to Wisdom Aglago from the North Tongu District.

He cultivates maize, cowpea, cassava, oil palm in addition to rearing cattle and local poultry.


NDC denies abusing incumbency

Source: Radio XYZ Online

The Presidential spokesperson John Jinapor has parried off reports that the President abused incumbency while he was on his national thank you tour.

The second report of a coalition of NGOs monitoring the abuse of incumbency ahead of the December elections indicts President Mahama of using his Thank You tour of Cape Coast to campaign.

The report also accused NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo Addo of vote buying.

But John Jinapor in an interview with XYZ News said although the Presidency appreciates the work of the coalition of civil society groups in ensuring free and fair elections, the findings are not reflective of what happened.

“The President was very reconciliatory and never attacked any political party. The President did not directly ask people to go and vote for him like we are doing now.

“That Thank You Tour was to ensure that the President garner the people together. If you are to do a proper check of all the statements the President made, it was towards reconciliation it was not political” John Jinapor said.


Mahama 'angry' over salary increases - NDC

Source: Radio XYZ Online

President Mahama is reported to be unhappy with the salary increment of the President, the deputy, Ministers of state and other officials of the executive.

Before Parliament went on recess, they approved the increment of salaries of the President, his deputy and some members of the Executive arm of governance.

The President will now be paid 12,000 Ghana Cedis monthly while his vice takes home 10,500 Ghana Cedis.

Ministers and their deputies will also receive salaries ranging from 8,000 and 9,000 Ghana Cedis.

But a member of the NDC communication team, Spencer Quaye has told XYZ News that he is reliably informed that the President is unhappy and is being urged not to accept the report of the committee.

“I have heard that President wasn’t aware of the figure they quoted and is particularly not really impressed, this is something I heard from a very reliable source.

“My only prayer is that the President does not give his accent,” Spencer Quaye said.


Mahama slipped; Nana Addo lied over Cuba training at IEA debate- Kwakye Ofosu

Source: Joy Online

A firebrand of the ruling National Democratic Congress and Convener of the Research and Advocacy Platform Felix Kwakye Ofosu has described as “slip” wrong figures provided by President John Mahama during the IEA Presidential Debate on the training of Ghanaian doctors in Cuba.

Felix Kwakye Ofosu was however critical of the New Patriotic Party flagbearer accusing him of lying and deliberate falsehood on the same matter.

The President in answering a question on how he will improve health delivery in the country if retained in office, said among other things that he had initiated a Cuban arrangement in which Ghanaian students will be trained as doctors in Cuba.

His contender Nana Addo in the debate questioned the financial prudence of the Cuban arrangement which he said costs, 105,000 cedis. He argued the amount was too exorbitant, given that Ghanaian doctors are trained here at 30,000 cedis far cheaper than what the Cuban arrangement is offering.

President John Mahama in a rebuttal at the debate accused the opposition leader of conjuring figures, and sought to clarify that the correct amount spent on training each doctor was $5,000 and not the 105,000 cedis as Nana Addo would have the world believe.

On Joy FM and MultiTV news analysis programme Newsfile, Saturday, the NPP Director of Communications Nana Akomea said the president could not have been telling the truth on the Cuban matter.

He presented two letters, one from the chief of staff, and the other a cabinet memo signed by the then Health Minister Yieleh Chireh which pegged the cost of training at a doctor at $50,000.00.

Nana Akomea said the president was privy to all these memos, acted on them and yet gave a wrong figure in the Tamale debate. “Where did he get the $5,000 from?” he quizzed.

Felix Kwakye Ofosu answered saying the president slipped. “Instead of mentioning 5,000, he mentioned 50,000,” he explained.

He could not however forgive the NPP flagbearer, accusing him of deliberately lying and churning out false figures for propaganda purposes.

Felix Kwakye Ofosu argued the NPP had gone haywire for months accusing government of shortchanging the Ghanaian populace in this Cuban arrangement.

He insisted the NPP flagbearer should have gotten his figures right and cannot be forgiven for peddling lies.


Battle over toilet ends up in court

Source: Joy Online

A seeming war over a toilet is currently looming in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi.

The Suame Constituency chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress, Chief Ali, has been accused of seizing the public toilet there.

His accuser, an assemblyman Nana Kofi Senyah insists the toilet at the Kotoko suburb was placed under his control two years ago.

But Chief Ali, who doubles as the sub-metro chairman, has denied the accusation.

He told Joy News the assemblyman refused to account for revenue he collected over two years now.

He said the district assembly has the right to take back the toilet from anyone who fails to render accounts to it over a period of time.

Chief Ali said the assembly wrote a letter to him, spelling out their decision to take control of the facility.

He denied that the facility that serves about 4000 people in the community has been closed to the public.

He noted that the facility has been generating enough revenue for the assembly but could put any figure to it.

However, when Joy News reached Nana Kofi Senyah to shed more light on the issue, he declined to comment saying the issue is currently in court.


NPP did not add a single megawatt of power to national grid - NDC

Source: Radio XYZ Online

Government has described as false, claims by the NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that the Kufuor administration added 560 megawatts of power to the national grid before leaving office in 2009.

Nana Akufo Addo announced at the recent IEA Presidential debate that the Kufour administration also planned to increase generation capacity to 5000 megawatts by 2012.

But Deputy Energy Minister Inusah Fuseini in a reaction said the Kufuor administration failed to add a single megawatt of electricity to the existing power stock during it two terms.

He told a news conference on Friday that the 80 megawatt of electricity added in 2007 was initiated by a consortium of mining companies and not the Kufuor administration.

“NPP never added a single megawatt to the electric capacity of our power system; indeed it was in 2007 that the mines reserved plant with an installed capacity of 80 megawatts was added to the national grid through a consortium of mining companies in Ghana.

“Subsequently not a single generating plant came on string before the NPP government left office in December 2008 therefore it cannot be true or accurate to state that Kufuor era added 560 megawatt to the National grid” Hon. Fuseini said.

Alhaji Inusah Fuseini also announced that the current load shedding for off peak periods will be stopped by Monday November 5.