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MPs want farmers insured against effects of climate change

Members of Parliament are advocating for insurance cover for farmers against losses of their farm produce due to effects of climate change.

The move, the MPs argued, is to encourage farmers to produce more to feed the country without bothering much about the losses they would incur in the event of extreme weather changes.

MP for Nsawam-Adoagyire, Frank Annoh-Dompire, who led the call proposed amendment to the Insurance Act, 2006, to include insurance for agriculture, especially, farmers and their farms as a measure to introduce some relief in their line of business.

“Mr. Speaker, insurance must be instituted to cater for our farmers with package intending to protect farmers, agro-processors, rural and financial institutions and input dealers among others in the event of failure due to extreme weather condition like drought, excess rainfall and floods”.

“I believe that protection from crop revenue losses in times of adverse weather events will enable farmers remain in production even after disasters”, he noted in statement delivered on the floor of Parliament, Thursday.

He added “with crop insurance cover, many farmers can have access to bank credit or input support. Agricultural insurance if introduced shall also provide protection for agricultural loan portfolios that is loans to clients involved in agricultural production. Thus, when clients suffer crop losses as a result of adverse weather condition, these institutions can cover their default with payouts from the insurance industry”.

MP for Mion and deputy Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Yakubu Alhassan contributing to the discussion said insurance for farmers and their produce is long overdue.

He recalled how lack of funding has inhibited an initiative the Ministry was pursuing to provide some relief to players in the agricultural sector.

“Insurance cover should not only be for cash crop. I think that livestock and poultry will also be a sector that should be covered because disease outbreaks we have witnessed in recent times. In many cases, when these outbreaks take place, the public purse will have to underwrite most of the losses that take place. I believe that if we have an institutionalized agricultural scheme, all these things would be absorbed by the company and the public purse would have been saved”.

“There are many insurance companies that are reluctant to come into agricultural insurance because of the risks associated with the weather, in particular, with re-insurance. Four years ago, the Ministry of Agricultural in collaboration with GIZ instituted what we call Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool. This was a successor organization to GIZ collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that agricultural insurance was instituted within the country’s agricultural sector. The Agricultural Insurance Pool currently exists but there are challenges with funding”, he noted.

MP for Pusiga, Laadi Ayamba, contributed to the statement also stated that farmers do well to produce but in case of excessive rain or inadequate rain, the effect on them is unbearable.

Ms. Ayamba called for support to farmers by swiftly amending the “Act as soon as possible to make sure that farmers do not suffer enough in case of climate change.”

WAEC should not fail Ghana this time around – Adwoa Safo

 MP for Dome/Kwabenya, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, has challenged the government and the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) to put in stringent measures to curtail the unbridled examination leakages and malpractices that have hit the Ghanaian society over the last couple of years.

According to her, the situation having already dented the image of the country both at home and internationally if not checked could cause further harm with its attendant effects very difficult to address.

The legislator who described the trend as worrying also cautioned school administrators and heads, especially, the private ones, not to allow the triumph for the success of their schools lead them to look for leaked exams papers knowing well that their achievement will not be true reflection of the school.

Such, she argued, will amount to deceiving society.

She also cautioned students not to rely on leaked exams papers which have become the order of the day in the Ghanaian society, stressing that “as children you have to reflect the true picture of your potentials”.

The procurement expert made this observation, Thursday, when she delivered mathematical sets to 3,400 students in over 15 Junior High Schools within her constituency who would be writing the upcoming Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) last Thursday.

Among the beneficiary school are Dome Cluster of Schools, Taifa Cluster of Schools and St. Dominic Catholic JHS, Taifa.

Hon. Safo commenting further, also advised parents to restrain themselves from going to look for leaked examination papers for their wards but rather build the children up according to their own potentials “so that society can get the best out of them”.

Mahama’s motor riding signals Ghana is safe – Derek Oduro

The Deputy Ranking Member of the Committee of Interior and Defense of Parliament, Major (Rtd) Derek Oduro has okayed President Mahama riding a motorbike in town insisting that Ghana’s internal security situation does not risk such move by the President.

In a new video made available, Ghana’s President John Mahama is seen going for a ride on a very stylish motorbike.

Captured at the premises of what looks like his Brother Ibrahim Mahama’s residence in and around the Kawukudi Junction in Accra, Mahama is seen leaving the facility on the bike, and accompanied by a dispatch rider and one other person.

The video which went viral Sunday has since been condemned by some critics citing high risk of security threats with such move by the President.

On various Social media platforms, some also argued the cost implication of the stylish motor bike the President used, which according to them the average price of such model bike he used will cost about USD40,000 on the market.

But Major (Rtd) Oduro said the argument boils down to whether or not such move poses security threat to the President adding that the fuss about the President riding a motor bike in town is out of place.

“I believe his security detail did the security threat analysis and concluded that it was safe for him to do that other than that he wouldn’t have done that at all.

“Although I wouldn’t rule out security threats in general, as a country, there is a democratic inclination that we”ll always resolved to remove the President through the thumb, so I don’t think somebody will want to target the President to kill him or assassinate him – that is an extreme case. After all the move suggest that we have peace in the country compared to other countries in the sub-region.”

Fisheries Ministry must account for use of 53 million dollar Grant -Titus Glover

Member of Parliament for Tema East, Daniel Titus-Glover has challenged the Ministry of Fisheries and Aqua Culture to give an account of how it used the whopping $53 million..

The Global Environmental Fund also provided $3.5 million World Bank Grant for the development of the fishing industry. The money was meant to revamp the sector, develop aqua culture, rehabilitate boatyards and procure research vessels.

But nearly six after the fund was disbursed to Ghana; Hon. Daniel Titus-Glover in an interview with Joy News claimed the purpose for which the funds were given has not been realized.

“President Mahama and his government are treating fishermen with disrespect, because you cannot be given a World Bank funding of over $53.8 million for the development of this industry. Go to the boatyard dam, you’ll see boat virtually lying down, these canoes wooden vessels when they get destroyed there’s no way you can fix it, a whole investment is gone and that’s why the inshore fishermen are crying out loud.

“The Minister, she’s never been to the Fishing Harbour since she was appointed. She should come out…where is the money? They gave it to this government under Prof. Mills and if they are using this money for any other means, we don’t know. They need to account for that money, what have they used this money to do? My fishermen are calling for accountability of the money.”

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the Minister in Charge of Fisheries and Acqua Development, Sherry Ayittey for her response has proved futile.