Ex-President John Dramani Mahama has said that Ghana must go back to the ‘Operation Feed Yourself’ strategy put in place in the 1970s by its former military ruler, General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong.
The former president claimed that despite certain flaws, General Acheampong’s “Operation Feed Yourself” approach was generally effective since it allowed the nation to produce almost all of its own food.
According to the former president, Ghana cannot keep exporting food that it can produce because this is one of the key causes of the Ghana Cedi’s ongoing depreciation and the huge increase in the price of food.
Mahama, who made these remarks during the presentation of his ‘Building the Ghana We Want’ lecture, said that Ghana spends nearly $3 billion annually to import food it can produce locally which is very worrying.
“General Acheampong, despite the depraved corruption that swallowed him up in later years, was off to a good start in the early part of his regime. His “Operation Feed yourself” and “Operation feed your Industries” programmes yielded massive results during the period from 1972 through to 1976.
“We do enormous damage to our currency, the cedi, and our economy, when we spend billions of dollars on the importation of rice, sugar, tomato products, frozen fish, poultry, meat products and vegetable cooking oils.
“Yet we have more than the potential to produce here to feed ourselves and even export,” he said.
Mahama proposed that the government must put measures in place to support large-scale commercial agricultural production to achieve food self-sufficiency because supporting small-scale farming is not enough.
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