Agric policies must base on research – Experts

Business News of Monday, 2 February 2015


Cover Woman Farmer

Government is being challenged to take into consideration agricultural research findings before setting out policies to guide the development of the sector.

Agricultural experts are cautioning that the rolling out of agric policies solely for political purposes will negatively impact the sector.

They say it’s about time government implemented guidelines set out by the African Union on policy adoption in the agricultural sector, which requires that it seeks information through research before rolling out policies.

“What that seeks to do, is to move away from a situation where politicians stand on platforms, make statements which become policies. There is no evidence that it has worked before, there is no evidence that it has the potential to work. But just to play to the gallery, a statement is made and is adopted as policy,” Kwaku Owusu Baah of the USAID’s “Feed the Future Project” said.

He told journalists at the start of a three day conference to finalize a report on research into soil fertility management in Ghana for presentation to government that “Before government for example says that it is reducing the extent of the fertilizer subsidy programme, there must be some evidence on which to base that decision, because subsidies are not free, tax payers pay for it.”

Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Shashidhara Kolavalli explained researchers would make recommendations that will help the ministry come out with consistent policies on the agricultural sector in relation to soil fertility. The details of the research findings will be released on Monday.