Mr. Speaker, in contributing to this Statement, I would like to commend my hon. good Friend because the statement is timely as we are all trying to join the good image of business and the globalization.
Mr. Speaker, technology has become one of the major requirements and the yardstick for which countries which are aspiring to become middle-income countries are judged. In Ghana, in the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy II (GPRS II) document which is the co- ordinated social and economic programme
for the Government, agriculture has been identified as one of the major concerns for development.
Mr. Speaker, looking at the nature of agriculture in Ghana at the moment, if adequate preparation is not undertaken to modernize the system of agriculture, we are not going to do much in terms of the implementation of the GPRS II document. Modernized agriculture through irrigation, mechanization and agro-processing is seen as a positive move towards making acriculture a very viable sector for national development.
Mr. Speaker, I am very happy that the Government and the GPRS II have identified agriculture as the tool for accelerated development that is being led by the private sector. To do this, about 70 per cent of Ghanaians are in the agricultural sector and if we are able to modernize agriculture, it means that about 70 per cent of our people would be well off. Again, the so-called hard core poverty, those people below the poverty line are also found in the agriculture sector who live in the rural areas and the Government's policy of taking agriculture as one of the major concerns for accelerated development is in the right direction.
Mr. Speaker, I therefore recommend that the manufacturers of local equipment for agro-processing like the cassava processing machines and other equipment, must be motivated. They must be supported by the Government so that their equipment will assist in the particular direction of modernizing agriculture.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to end here and say that if we are very serious to move the country forward, then we must identify and we must also encourage science and technology as one of the major tools to help us to achieve this particular objective.
Nii Amasah Namoale (NDC -- Dade
Kotopon): Mr. Speaker, I would like to identify myself with the Statement on the floor. Mr. Speaker, most times when we talk of technology people talk of a very big scientific implementation research somewhere. But technology starts from our homes, from what we see going on. That is not good, so let us improve upon the techniques or the machines that we are using.
When something happens in this country, instead of us to look at the scientific basis for what is happening, people would be superstitious. All they would say is that, “Oh, it is the witches and the wizards.”
Mr. Speaker, just yesterday, I was walking on the High Street and I saw a lot of people at the 28th February Court, and Ghanaians were trooping there saying that a kayayoo has been turned into a cock. Can you believe that, Mr. Speaker? People were moving from the Ministries - intellectuals, people who know, have been to school, Directors, moving from the Ministries, crossing to the 28th Court to go and look at the kayayoo that has been turned into a cock, in the 21st century, Mr. Speaker.
Let us think scientifically when something happens. When someone dies in our families, even an 80-year-old, they would ask who killed that person, instead of us asking what killed that person.
Scientifically let us do the research and then get the results and apply the results from the research that we did so that next time when an 80-year-old woman or man dies they would not say it is the witches and the wizards that have killed that person.
Mr. Speaker, in this 21st Century, some drivers, including some drivers of hon. Members of this House, when they are about to cross a bridge, they would blow their horns because they believe if you do not blow the horn the river god will not allow you to cross safely. [Laughter.] Mr. Speaker, let us educate ourselves and let us think scientifically.
Mr. Speaker, in this 21st Century trokosi is still being practised in Ghana. Somebody would die, others would follow and still others would follow because some think that when their money or something is missing and he goes to that trokosi area the people will tell them that they would find it for him.
Mr. Speaker, if you would investigate very well, the police will investigate the death and they would go to the trokosi man and say he is the one responsible for all who are dying, Mr. Speaker, if they do that they would see that somebody from that trokosi area has gone there to poison those who are dying; maybe their water, maybe their food.
Mr. Speaker, I am saying this because when these trokosi people take the virgins as the ransom for curtailing the death, they would say, all right we are coming to purify the area. They would break all pots, destroy everything and take everything away, then they would say, “go and stay there”. Because they know that they have poisoned something over there and they know that that is the source killing the people, they want to attribute it to
[NII NAMOALE] themselves that they are the ones doing it.