Agric Minister tasks board to revive cotton industry

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture,

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, has charged the Board of Cotton Development Authority (CDA) to develop a strategic plan within a year to revive the industry from further deterioration.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, “Even though you are supposed to serve four years, if after a year and there are no signs of improvement in the sector, I will recommend to the Cabinet for the board to be dissolved,” he advised.

Speaking at the inauguration of a seven-governing board of CDA in Accra on Thursday, the Minister advised the board to furnish the Ministry with discussions with stakeholders on the transfer of the Authority to Wienco Ghana, a private entity, that specializes in the importation and distribution of high-quality agro-inputs.

The functions of the Board among other things are to assist the CDA in pursuit of its functions as stated in section two of the CDA Act of 1969 (NLCD 353).

Dr Akoto expressed worry about the decline of the cotton industry in the country and called for immediate action to revamp the sector, saying “I want to see results.”

Government in 2011, in collaboration with the World Bank and the African Development Bank, had put in place reform measures to revive the cotton industry in the country by engaging over 100,000 farmers to move production to 30,000 metric tons a year.

Under the reform programme, cotton-producing areas of the three northern regions had been zoned into three; North East, North West and North Central to increase cotton production, but not many efforts had been done.

The production of cotton has reduced to 3,000 metric tons a year from 38,000 metric tons in the 1998/1999 farming season.

The Minister said the Cotton production, especially in the northern region when harnessed and managed well would contribute to the economic development of the inhabitants and the textile industry as a whole.

He expressed Government’s support for the industry and encouraged the board to work as a team to improve the sector and serve as a source of livelihood for the farmers.

Dr Hakeem Ahmed Wemah, the Chairman of the Board commended the Government for the confidence reposed in them and pledged to work above their mandates to bring a change in the sector.

“We feel the pain you are going through as a Minister on the statement of the industry and sympathize with you. We will not let you down and will do everything possible to succeed”

The members are Mr Michael Anang Abanah, Acting Executive Director, CDA; Mr Alhassan Yakubu Tali, Agriculture Development Bank; Mr Abdul-Rahman Mohammed, Textile Industry; Dr Emmanuel Boache Chamba, a Farmer; Kuoro Kuri-Butie Limann IV, Business Sector and Mr Seth Osei-Akoto, Director, Directorate of Crop Service, Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

 By Kodjo Adams, GNA


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