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Soaring food prices: Where did the bumper harvest go? – Edward Kareweh to Agric Ministry

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The General Secretary of the General Agric Workers Union, Edward Kareweh, has partly blamed the ongoing food price inflation on the inefficiencies of the government to timeously acquire and distribute fertilisers to farming communities.

According to him, the government had delayed distributing fertilisers to farmers due to shortages caused by their inability to meet the financial demands of the fertilizer suppliers.

This had caused farmers to miss the fertilizer application window, largely contributing to low agricultural output in the harvest season.

Speaking on PM Express Business Edition, Edward Kareweh stated that “We continue to produce, but we produce under very challenging circumstances. For instance, you can see that we hardly had fertilizer at the time that it was most needed.

“And the Ministry itself came out to say look, we have acknowledged that there was a shortage of the fertilizer and it was due to government’s inability to pay for previous supplies, and they even went further to explain that those suppliers had to borrow money from the banks to purchase the fertilizer from outside to supply and that they were servicing those loans on high interest.

“So because of that those suppliers refused to give further fertilizer to the Ministry under the Planning for Food and Job. By the time the Ministry got the fertilizer it was too late to apply the fertilizer on the farms and when you even do, the yield will be low because agriculture is one that requires timeous application of fertilizer and we missed it again.”

He further added that the government had also failed woefully to control the smuggling of fertilizer across the country’s borders.

“The Ministry came out to say that there was so much smuggling of the fertilizer, granted that that was true, it even went further to say there was an innovative way of smuggling the fertilizer.

“Now donkeys carrying the fertilizer unaided by human beings across the borders and they could not do anything because there were no human beings. That was so much annoying and it was an admission that the state and in this case not the Ministry alone, but the state had failed to control smuggling,” he said.

“And that effectively means that no matter how much fertilizer the state had imported, and intended to distribute to farmers, it never got to the farmers. All was smuggled or much of it was smuggled,” he added.

Edward Kareweh noted that despite these indicators, the government had insisted that there will be a bumper harvest.

“And we said there was going to be a low output in agricultural production, but the Ministry disagreed with us. They even went further to say that there was going to be a bumper harvest. I am expecting them to come and tell us where did the bumper harvest go?

“So what we are experiencing today is an indication that we had low output because the rice we are eating today, if it is local rice, it is not the one that has been produced in 2022,” he said.



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Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

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The first batch of young individuals who signed onto the Believe in Ghana (BiG) project in Kumasi have graduated to venture into the creative arts and manufacturing industries.

The Believe in Ghana (BiG) project trains young aspiring entrepreneurs to take charge in the creative arts and manufacturing sectors.

Trainees are engaged in bakery and pastries, soap and bleach making, batik and tie and dye as well as beads making.

Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

Project originator, Tony Donkor, says the employment rate of the youth in Ghana needs to be addressed through such innovations.

“The project intends to raise a generation of knowledgeable youth who can take up the manufacturing space in order to secure a brighter future for the Ghanaian youth.

“The project intends to equip illiterate, semi-literate and literate persons with the skills set to secure a better future in the absence of a salaried job” he said.

The BiG project has seen partnership with the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi who created the avenue for individuals to be trained through localized methods.

Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

Deputy Director for Performing Arts at the Centre, Mustapha Issa, says locally-manufactured items need the necessary patronage to promote local industrialization and national culture.

According to him, “people often portray cultural products as fetish and they do not want to patronize it, but if we can reorient the definition of culture to ourselves, people can then appreciate it.”

He added that, “accepting the cultural values our products stand will bring great benefit from.”

Mr. Issa also advised that the country takes its cultural values seriously in order to preserve the rich heritage as a people.

He indicated that, “our music, movies and arts should represent our heritage, rather than degrading it.”

The first cohort of 15 trainees under the project shared their experiences on the impact.

“I work in a travel agency and we usually host events where attires are worn. I signed up to the project so I can learn how to make apparels to get the contract for myself and make some money as well,” said Doreen.

Another participant, Sumaila said “I am a musician and I wanted to add a clothing line to it, so I enrolled to learn how to make batik Tie and Dye. I can use the technique to create my own brand in addition to the music I do”.

Techno Genesis Ghana graduates the first batch of trainees under BiG entrepreneurship project

The BiG project intends to train over 10,000 persons in the Ashanti Region and further extend to other regions of the country.

The Believe in Ghana Project is under the operation of Techno Genesis, in partnership with The Multimedia Group, Kumasi and the Centre for National Culture, Kumasi.



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Loyalty Insurance MD raises concern about unhealthy competition in industry

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The Managing Director of Loyalty Insurance Company Limited, Ernest Frimpong, has expressed worry about some unhealthy practices in the insurance sector.

According to him, even though Ghana’s insurance market is highly competitive, characterised by a lot of innovation, some unethical practices like premium undercutting could hamper growth of the industry.

“The Ghana insurance market is a highly competitive and dynamic marketplace,” Mr. Frimpong said.

“There is a dichotomy; on one hand, the market is characterised by innovation, and on the other hand, there is also some unhealthy competition in the market. The issue of undercutting premiums has been around for a while. We need to change this narrative; we need stronger cooperation among ourselves for the benefit of our industry”. He added.

The Loyalty Insurance MD spoke at the company’s fifth anniversary celebration launch themed, “Growing through digitalisation.”

The company unveiled four new digital applications which it believes will place it at the forefront of technological innovation in the insurance sector.

The Managing Director also expressed gratitude to shareholders of the company for raising capital to meet the National Insurance Commission’s minimum capital requirement of ¢50 million.

The Commissioner of Insurance, Dr. Justice Ofori, commended the management and staff for embracing technology as part of their operations.

He urged them to re-strategise and remain customer-focused in order to remain relevant in the industry.

“Let me congratulate management and staff of Loyalty Insurance Company Limited for the attainment of five years of growth and consistent success and express my gratitude to all who have contributed to making the company what it is today,” he said.



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Most Ghanaians unaware of oil funded projects – PIAC  

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Most Ghanaians are unaware of projects funded with oil funds, a public fora held by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) in the Western North and North East regions have revealed.

In both regions, the Committee held regional public fora on the 2021 PIAC Annual Report, which brought together stakeholders from the traditional council, religious groups, security agencies, traders, educational institutions, among others to deliberate on the management and use of petroleum revenues.

The participants also called for more projects to be executed with petroleum revenues.

PIAC therefore recommended the labelling of Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA)-funded projects for identification.

Most Ghanaians unaware of oil funded projects – PIAC  

It again reiterated its commitment to carrying out its mandate to ensure the prudent management and use of petroleum revenues in Ghana.

PIAC commends some oil funded projects but unhappy about some

In terms of the projects funded with petroleum funds, the Committee expressed satisfaction about some, whilst critiquing others, calling for urgent steps to complete them.

The inspection of the projects took place from Sunday, 24th to Friday, 29thApril, 2022.

Most Ghanaians unaware of oil funded projects – PIAC  

In the Western North Region, the Committee inspected the construction of a 3-storey Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) Administration Block in Sefwi Wiawso, construction of three Senior Staff Bungalows at Sefwi Wiawso and a rural market in Amoaya in the Bodi Constituency. The construction of the RCC building received ₵10.5 million from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) in 2020 and 2021.

Members of the Committee expressed satisfaction of the project which had been completed, commissioned, and was in use.

The Committee also expressed satisfaction with the senior staff bungalows which received a total of GH₵1,779,660 from the ABFA in 2020.

The project was reported to be 90% complete with bungalows erected and roofed, internal finishing virtually completed, and external works ongoing.

Most Ghanaians unaware of oil funded projects – PIAC  

Again, the Committee welcomed the upgrading of the Nalerigu – Gbintri road, in the North East region which was allocated ₵20 million from the ABFA in 2020. It was also inspected by the PIAC team and officials of the Ghana Highway Authority.

In terms of project that the Committee called for urgent action to be completed, they included the rural market, situated in Amoaya, in the Western North region which received ₵107,327 from the ABFA in 2020, but work had stalled and the construction of a 3-Storey Administration Block for the Council, located in Nalerigu in the North East region.

Construction commenced in 2019, and the project was expected to have been completed in 2021. Outstanding works include painting, tiling, electricals, and furnishing.

PIAC was established under Section 51 of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA), to among others, monitor and evaluate compliance with the Act. The Committee was inaugurated and commenced work on 15th September, 2011.



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