Stakeholders from public and civil society organizations in the Northern Region have called on government to make provision in the 2019 budget for the establishment of agricultural mechanization service centres to boost productivity in the sector.
The stakeholders argued that the establishment of the agricultural mechanization service centres would boost the number of tractors in the system to reduce the cost of tractor services to farmers in the Region.
They also called on government to make agricultural inputs available to farmers on time to plant at the right time for improved yields.
They also called on government to facilitate market for agricultural produce by encouraging companies to buy farm produce from local farmers.
These proposals were arrived at by the stakeholders at a Regional Consultative Forum on the 2019 Budget organized in Tamale by SEND Ghana with support from the World Bank.
The forum was in response to the Ministry of Finance’s call to stakeholders to submit inputs for consideration in the 2019 budget statement, which would be presented in Parliament by November, this year.
On education, the stakeholders proposed that provision be made in the 2019 budget to address infrastructural challenges as well as build capacity for kindergarten teachers to improve early childhood education.
They also proposed that the budget address logistical challenges of circuit supervisors by providing motorbikes and fuel for them to intensify supervision of schools to improve education outcome in the Region.
They also called for appropriate and adequate textbooks to be supplied to all schools to enhance teaching and learning.
On health, they proposed adequate allocation of funds to the National Health Insurance Authority to promptly settle claims of service providers to strengthen health care delivery in the region.
They also called for increased funds for beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty programme.
Mr Mohammed Mumuni, Team Leader, Northern Region Networking Centre of SEND Ghana expressed the need for the government to ensure increased allocation of resources to implement programmes and policies contained in budgets.
Mr Courage Dzikunu, Senior Economics Officer at the Ministry of Finance, said the country’s expenditure was higher than her revenue in 2018, hence efforts by the Ministry to restore fiscal and macroeconomic stability.