Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Convention People’s Party (CPP) flagbearer, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, says he intends to make almond cultivation that produces what is known in local parlance as ‘Abrofo Nkate’ the mainstay of the economy, if he wins the November presidential election.
He said the commercial cultivation and production of almond, which is mainly grown in tropical Africa, will immensely benefit the country economically through the production of consumable oil; and estimated it roughly around $300 billion.
“The price on the international market for almond oil is as much as US$10,000 a tone; and I am understating the price. Cocoa has never gone above US$3,600 a tonne. Oil palm is currently US$800 a tonne,” he said Tuesday night when he took his turn at the Institute of Economic Affair (IEA) ‘Encounter,’ which gives presidential candidates the platform to sell their visions to the public.
Mr. Greenstreet, a lawyer, who is going to try his luck of becoming president in the November general election for the first time, said a CPP government intends to “mobilize two million youth to plant 32 trees per person in an eight-hour work a day at 175 trees per hectare, meaning that a total area equivalent to 7,314,285.7 hectares, will be planted, giving us almost 26 million tonnes for the whole area.”
The CPP standard bearer articulated, “A rough estimate based on the above could potentially produce 30 million tonnes of oil, multiplied by 10 per litre and Ghana could potentially generate US$300 billion.”
He said the “financing of this programme, will be made available from different local and international sources; and it will be an incentive-based scheme based on out-grower system,” adding, “we won’t beg for money like the NDC.
“Why become shameful and disgraceful like the NDC, chasing the Chinese around in circles for US$3 billion when God has given us fertile lands that with a little effort, we could aim to generate US$300 billion. Cut that target in half, even more than half and earning a US$100 billion alone will clear the country’s debts.”
According to Mr. Greenstreet, a CPP government would engage two million youth in the agric sector to reduce the ever soaring unemployment rate and ensure that the government engages the private sector in the ambitious programme.
He said that a CPP government would invest heavily in wind turbines in addition to the current combination of hydro and thermal saying, “standard wind turbines with an average height of 120 meters and a diameter of 85 meters will generate 3 megawatts of energy per unit.”
He asked rhetorically, “Are we not a creative country? Do we not have a creative leadership? Why do we always have to think that the only ways of providing employment are white-collar jobs? Kwame Nkrumah was creative. In his time, even prisoners were put to work. Not like today where they’re packed in inhuman conditions like sardines.”
Mr. Greenstreet tackled other national issues - from health, infrastructure and to governance.