A policy analyst and member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kofi Kukubor, has lambasted government for awarding the best Ghanaian farmer for 2017 in dollars instead of cedis.
Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday, Kofi Kukubor said awarding the National Best Farmer in dollars only goes to show that the country places little value on the Ghanaian cedi, and exposes the economy as weak.
Government on Friday crowned Philip Kweku Agyeman from the Brong Ahafo Region as the National Best Farmer of 2017, and handed him a dummy cheque of $100,000 as his prize, at the 33rd National Farmers Day celebration held in Kumasi.
This was the first time an overall best farmer has been given a cash reward.
In previous years, the winners were awarded houses at locations of their choice.
While congratulating the farmers who won awards in several categories in Kumasi, the NDC member believes the event was marred by the presentation of the of the award in dollars.
“I think it was a beautiful programme but I think at the end of the it was marred because of the dollar cheque presentation which was a complete affront to our economy or a subtle message telling us that by the time if they were to quote the award in cedis, by the time it would have matured next year, it would have lost its value.”
Mr. Kukubor argued that, “by pegging it to a dollar cheque clearly tell us that at least next year’s economy is going to be a bit tough and rough so in order not to have the value to be depreciated, for the first time in this country, lets award him in dollars.”
“We are a cedi economy and you are awarding a best farmer in dollars, are you trying to dollarize the economy the economy?”
There have been several concerns about the use of dollars in doing business in the country, yet the practice continues. There are even business that reportedly charge in dollars in Ghana.
Ghana places so much emphasis on the dollar because the economy is one that largely relies on imports, and the dollar plays a crucial role in this.
credit: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey