Mr Speaker a person can decide to rise up and on the space of the moment churn out certain figures which he knows is not factual and it is regrettable coming from a former Deputy Minister for Finance.
I must add that as we speak today the international reserves has indeed climbed down from 9.9 billion to 8.6 billion that is 4.3 months import cover. Again, under the NDC we never saw this. This is sound economic management that defies propaganda and make-belief believe theories.
Mr Speaker, the exchange rate regime is relatively stable now even though I must add that in February and March 2019, there was some volatility but by the close of the first quarter, the cedi had stabilised.
Mr Speaker, agriculture has done relatively very well from 2017 through 2018 to the first half of 2019 -- the Planting for Food and Jobs, Rearing for Food and Jobs, the Planting for Food and Export among others, have significantly increased yields of many food crops. Maize yields increased by 72 per cent in 2017, rice yields increased by 24 per cent in 2017, soyabean increased by 39 per cent in 2017 and these figures repeated themselves in 2018.
Mr Speaker, 30 warehouses are at the various stages of completion in the country and as of June 2019, five have been completed -- these five are at Chidiri, Dzodze, Yagba, Kwame Danso and most important of all, Bole. The completion of the Guo and Piiyiri Dams have made available over 36 hectares of irrigable plants for cropping.
These have been on the drawing board since 2010 and they have only been completed two years into the administration of the NPP. The Tamne and Mprumem Dams are soon to be completed and that would add a total of 520 hectares for all year round cropping.
Mr Speaker, so much has been said about cocoa production -- the facts do not lie. It is most unfortunate that figures have been bandied about in this House, by people who are supposed to know better when they know the figures they were churning out were inaccurate. In 2005 2006, the output of cocoa was 740,000 metric tonnes, in 2006 2007, it was 615,000 metric tonnes, for 2007/ 2008, it was 740,000 but it got down to 681,000 in 2008/2009. It was 711,000 metric tonnes, in 2009/ 2010, it went to 800,000 and indeed, in 2010/2011 it climbed up to 1,025,000.00 metric tonnes.
Thereafter, consistently and persistently, cocoa production has been climbing down.
Indeed, in 2011/2012, it climbed down to 879,000 metric tonnes, for 2012/2013, it shot up again to 945,000; in 2013/2014, it was 896,000, and for 2014/2015 -- [Interruption] -- “consistently'' is general -- Hon Adongo, is a man of statistics, so he should know what a general downward trend is.
In 2014/ 2015, it was 740,000 -- it was never 900,000 and yet there are people in this House who say that it was 900,000 in 2014/2015. Who said so to them? People decide to manufacture their own figures in this House and it is most unfortunate.
In 2015/2016, production at the time was 760,000 -- where did they manufacture those figures from? We should be credible in this House.
Mr Speaker, I have a report from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and with your permission, I beg to quote page 122 of it which says:
“The free fertilizer application, hi-tech programme continued during the 2014/2015 cocoa
year, yet production decreased by as much as 17.4 per cent or about 156,000 metric tonnes.
Mr Speaker, it was the biggest drop in more than a decade and that was under the watch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and yet, people have the courage to turn this figure around and say to us that the figure for 2014/2015 was over 900,000 -- where did they import the figure from?
Mr Speaker, I would continue with the quotation;
“Indeed, whiles Ghana experience a negative growth, Cote d'Ivoire's increased by approximately 20 per cent and 3 per cent in 2013 and 2014 and 2015 respectively''.
Mr Speaker, these are the hard facts. Having said so, the Hon Minister, when he came to the House, spoke to us about what has occasioned the Supplementary Estimates and with your permission, I beg to quote paragraph 122 of the Budget Estimate. It says:
“Mr Speaker, among other things, the following develop- ments have warranted a revision to the 2019 macro-economic framework: