The Agriculture sector stepped up its contribution to total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy in the third quarter of 2013.
The sector in monetary terms contributed GH?7,088 representing 30.4 per cent of the total value of goods and services produced in the country spanning the period, July to September 2013.
During the same period in 2012, the sector contributed a total of GH?5,187 representing 28.6 per cent of total GDP.
The other sectors, Industry and Services, contributed 23.3 per cent and 46.3 per cent respectively in the 3rd quarter of 2013 to overall GDP.
Per the provisional figures released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the agriculture sector in the first quarter of 2013 contributed GH?3,233.7 representing 17.7 per cent of GDP and declined to GH?2,700.4 in the second quarter of 2013 representing 14.3 per cent.
According to the Government Statistician at the GSS, Dr Philomena Nyarko, in the agricultural sector, economic activity in the crops and cocoa sub-sector reflected a positive growth of 2.2 per cent over the 1.5 per cent recorded in the 2nd quarter of 2013. This was due to the seasonal pattern of the harvesting season.
The services sector recorded the highest growth rate of 6.7 per cent, while the Agriculture and Industry sectors followed with negative growth.
While the services sector recorded -3.8 per cent the agriculture sector contributed -11.8 per cent.
The negative growth does not remain the preserve of only the 3rd quarter, as the sector hitherto recorded a growth rate of 1.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, and a rate of -3.9 per cent in the second quarter.
When questioned about the disparity between the monetary contribution vis avis the growth rate for the agriculture sector for instance, the Acting Head of Economic Statistic Directorate at the GSS, Mr Asuo Afram said “what we are seeing is only a technical effect.”
“We don’t normally see growth going up, up, up because of what we call the base difference. So even though the figures will be going up, when you calculate the percentage change, it is smaller due to the difference in the base rate,” he said.
According to him, the declining growth rate does not necessarily mean the sector is not doing well, although the 3rd quarter performance for all the sectors was not favorable.
He also explained that “the first and second quarter are the planting season for agriculture, the 3rd quarter is the harvest season, so most of the agriculture output comes in the 3rd quarter.”
The sector, in 2010, contributed 29.9 per cent to GDP; declined to 25.6 per cent in 2011 and further dipped to 22.7 per cent in 2012.
Meanwhile, on the monetary front, the sector has been increasing, contributing a total of GH¢6,453 million in 2010, GH¢6,507 million in 2011 and GH¢6,674 million in 2012.
Source: Graphic Online
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