Former Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto, is confident that he will win the flag bearer’s slot of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and expressed optimism that the delegates of the partywill vote massively for him to lead the party in the 2024 elections.
“The delegates will choose a competent person to lead the NPP because you go into a contest to win, so I am in the contest hoping to win, and I know that God will bless me to win the contest,” he touted.
Dr Akoto was not worried Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia was in the race and did not think the Vice President has any advantage over him and the other hopefuls saying “the incumbency of the Vice President does not worry me at all, it does not give any advantage over others but the delegates will know who is who”.
“You just have to make sure they know you are in the race since most of our delegates are rural people, they benefitted from Planting for Food and Jobs and they are part of the 1.7 million farmers that have benefitted so they relate to what I am doing.
“NPP is not an ethnic party, it is a national party so if the delegates decide who is competent enough to lead them, they will vote for the person and what is it about tribalism and all that, I cannot understand it,” Dr Akoto postulated.
He indicated that he does not want to break the party’s rules and regulations campaigning vigorously because he would be the last person to break rules and regulations which stated until the party sets a date and invites potential contestants to come and pick forms, there should be no campaigning.
According to him, they had been grossly overlooked by other contestants but promised not to stampede into that but does not mean he was not working.
Dr Akoto advocated a new legislation to be enacted to compel banks to lend to people investing in agriculture to help propel progress, growth and development and bemoaned low lending rates to the sector.
He explained that institutional measures had been put in place to help the sector grow but what was needed to complement that was a legislative instrument to ensure adequate lending to the sector.
Dr Akoto pointed out that the NPP government had laid the foundation for agricultural development by establishing different authorities to deal with various crops cultivated in the country but funding to the farmers often went through authorities were often inadequate making it difficult for her to reach its targets.