Former President John Dramani Mahama has indicated that the next National Democratic Congress government will replace the ‘One District one factory’ programme to ‘Staple Processing Zones’.
That, he said would encourage farmers and investors to pump in more resources into the processing sector as they would not be restricted by political demarcations.
Former President Mahama who was interacting with Journalists in Accra said the current one district, one factory was not plausible as not all districts were endowed and resourceful enough to come out with workable and sustainable factories to create jobs.
He explained that creating the staple processing zones would ensure a constant supply of raw materials to the factories, as the suppliers would not be limited by political demarcations as in the case of one district, one factory policy.
The Former President said under the staple processing zones, the government would identify areas that had a comparative advantage in the production of certain staple foods and establish factories that would rely on a constant supply of raw materials and create wealth for farmers.
He also gave the assurance that his next administration would revamp the cocoa industry, which he said was taking a nosedive since 2017.
The revamping, he said would be hinged on regular and timely supply of inputs, free fertilizers, rehabilitation of cocoa-growing areas roads, revamp the Produce Buying Company and equip them adequately to take over the buying of cocoa and other indigenous produce, to eliminate the monopoly of foreigners in that sector.
“We shall provide correct inputs to achieve the right outputs. ‘If you pretend to be giving more inputs, outputs will expose you.”
He said before his administration left office, they managed to supply about 60 million cocoa seedlings to farmers as part of the revamping exercise, ’unfortunately, production started declining as soon as we left office, and when I come back I will make sure that we go back to those policies, including; the rehabilitation of cocoa area roads that have been terminated for some years now.”
On the collapse of banks in the past years, the former President said it was not possible for the current administration to pay all depositors in full within one year, although the government announced so.
“How can they pay all depositors in full, when that was not catered for in the budget delivered by Mr. Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance in the last fiscal budget? Government is being clever is saying they will pay all depositors, after all, there were no timelines given.”
He said his administration would have classified the banks into Class A, Class B and Class C with different benchmarks rather than collapsing them.