The contribution of agriculture, the backbone of Ghana’s economy, to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has dropped by an alarming 12.8% in just seven years.
It dropped from 31.8% in 2009 to a mere 19% as of September 2015, a period of seven years.
The contribution of agriculture to GDP in the other years is: 2010 – 29.8%, 2011 -25.3%, 2012 – 22.9%, 2013 – 22.4%, 2014 – 21.5%.
It dropped from 31.8% in 2009 to 29.8% in 2010, representing 2% GDP contribution lost.
In 2011, agriculture’s contribution dropped by 4.5% to 25.3% while 2012 recorded a 2.4% drop to 22.9%.
The year 2013 recorded a 0.5% drop in the contribution of agriculture from 22.9% in 2012 to 22.4% in 2013.
The contribution of the agric sector to GDP growth recorded further decline of 0.9% in 2014, and as of September 2015, the sector had lost another 0.4% of its contribution to GDP.
The contribution of the agriculture sector is likely to drop further in 2016 as government has cut its 2016 expenditure on the sector by GH?40 million despite growth in the sector stalling to 0.04% this year, when government had targeted 3.6% growth.
This year, government’s budgeted expenditure on the agricultural sector is GH?395.19 million while for 2016, GH?355.14 million has been budgeted, indicating a 10.1% decrease.
By the end of September 2015, GH¢91.54 million had been spent out of the GH?395.19 million budgeted.
Out of the GH¢91.54 million spent, about GH¢82.57 million of this actual sector expenditure, representing 90.21%, was spent on poverty-focused expenditures. In 2015, 90,000mt of fertilizer, out of a target of 180,000mt, was procured and distributed to farmers countrywide under the Fertiliser Subsidy Programme.
For 2016, a total of GH¢355.14 million has been allocated for this sector. About GH¢302.46 million of this allocation, representing 85.17%, is to be spent on the Fertiliser Subsidy Programme and the Agricultural Mechanisation Service Centres, among others.
As to whether the total number amount will be disbursed, only time will tell. The Ghana Statistical Service estimates that the sector will grow at an average of 3.3% between 2016-18, indicating that the sector’s future remains far from bright as services and industry look to narrow agriculture’s contribution to GDP.
At the Second Ordinary Assembly of the African Union in July 2003 in Maputo, African Heads of State and Government endorsed the “Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa” (Assembly/AU/Decl. 7(II)).
The Declaration contained several important decisions regarding agriculture, but prominent among them was the “commitment to the allocation of at least 10% of national budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development policy implementation within five years.”