Business News of Friday, 21 July 2017
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Kwame Asafu-Adjei, has reiterated government’s commitment to revamp the agriculture sector to ensure food security for the country.
He said government will also assist the farmers to enhance processing and packaging of their produce to meet international standards.
Mr. Asafu-Adjei said this at a National Stakeholders’ Conference on Agriculture, organised by Feed the Future’s Northern Ghana Governance Activity (NGGA) on Thursday.
It was to create a platform for stakeholders to discuss potential strategies to ensure the sustainability of agriculture in Ghana.
He said it was important to support farmers to produce nutritional and balanced diet so that people would be healthy and spend less on hospital bills.
Mr. Asafu-Adjei said the support should also target constructing of good roads to link the farming communities and the market place to minimise post-harvest losses due to bad road network.
He urged the public to involve themselves in agriculture, saying; “we do not have control over oil or our minerals because they are capital intensive and the individual cannot afford to go into the venture”.
“If we must invest more in agriculture by providing subsidies on agricultural inputs to the farmers, it will go a long way to boost their business as well as ensure food security for the country,” he added.
Mr. Asafu-Adjei, who is also a Member of Parliament for Nsuta-Kwamang-Beposo, advised the cooperative farmers to develop a saving culture to gather more money internally to boost their businesses.
He said it was unfortunate that in Ghana only the adb Bank which assisted farmers but they were, currently, not serving the interests of farmers.
Mr. Asafu-Adjei said the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, would soon summon the adb Bank to Parliament.
He said, according to the adb Bank Constitution, the Bank was supposed to assist the local farmers but that had not been the case as they were more into commercial business.
The Chief Party of NGGA and CARE International, Micheal Alandu, said recommendations from the conference were expected to contribute significantly to the 2018 to 2021 Medium Term Plan of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
He said the NGGA project aimed to increase the capacity of Ghana’s decentralised agricultural structures at the regional and district levels and improve accountability and performance efficiency of those decentralised agricultural structures.
The project is also to build community consensus and strengthen civil society’s demand for better service delivery in agriculture in partnership with the private sector.
It covers 28 target Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the three regions of the northern Ghana.
Participants were from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture, Ministries of Finance, Food and Agriculture, Civil Society organisations, Women Networks, and financial institutions.