Failure of development policy to implement simpler and cheaper technologies have limited optimal production in agriculture, especially production of crops, livestock and fisheries, per a National Development Commission (NDPC) report on the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II) between 2006-2009.
According to the 146 page report, a deficit in agricultural production is still a challenge because of dependence on natural conditions. Rainfall is unreliable with regard to its onset, duration, intensity and amount, and can disrupt crop production, the report noted.
This, the report attribute to lack of systematic policy to conserve and utilize ample rainfall in all parts of the country due to the choice of inappropriate technology.
The report noted the example of Burkina Faso shows that simpler and cheaper technologies for harvesting and use of rain endowments could yield Ghana immense benefits in agricultural productivity and poverty reduction.
Variability in the natural conditions also adversely affect livestock and the fisheries sub-sector in various ways similar to crop production, the report also noted.
Additional risks the report identified in the agriculture-based strategy include bushfires, post harvest losses and uncertainties, storage, transportation and marketing problems.
An equally important constraint was the dearth of affordable credit in agriculture. Food crops still do not have adequate marketing and financial support, and in the flagship cocoa sector, credit is on short-term season. As a result, crop farming has become a high-risk enterprise and in a vicious circular relationship, it also makes a high-risk field for its traders and bankers.
GPRS II requires agriculture to continue to grow at the rate of 6% per annum over a 4 year period, with crops and livestock leading the growth at the rate of about 6%, followed by the forestry logging, and fisheries at the rates of 5.1% and 4.8% per annum respectively.
‘The cocoa sub-sector is expected to remain robust in support of other sub-sector,’ the report noted.
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