Accra, Dec.15, GNA- Some Agricultural Technology (Agritech) firms have called for the integration of agriculture and technology innovations into the national digitisation agenda to boost productivity in the agriculture sector.
The firms said they had developed numerous tools to scale up the country’s agriculture production, but lacked the needed government support to roll out their services extensively to benefit farmers especially those in the rural areas.
They mentioned data collection software, farmer education and network programmes, drone sprayers, market accessibility and networking platforms, and farming support systems among the tools developed to boost productivity at all levels of the agriculture value chain.
The firms – esoko Limited and Farm 360, both indigenous Agritech companies – made the call in separate interviews with the Ghana News Agency at the 2021 Ghana Trade Exhibition in Accra on Wednesday.
The two-day exhibition offered a platform to participants to display their products and services to potential clients, investors and employers.
It was organized by the Connect Trade Network, a non-profit organisation.
Agritech is the use of technology and technological innovation to improve the efficiency and output of agricultural processes.
In other words, it is the application of technology to improve all elements of the farming and growing processes.
Naa Ayele Armah, Communications and Marketing Officer, Esoko Limited, said the pressing impact of climate change on weather patterns meant that farmers could no longer rely on the natural rainfall pattern to plan.
That, she said, had reinforced the need to adopt technological innovations to ensure efficient yields in all seasons.
She said the company had over the period developed varied technologies to support the work of farmers at all levels.
“The biggest organisation working in the area of agriculture is the government…unfortunately farmers may not know most of us in the private sector.
“We wish there could be more collaboration with the government and incorporate us into some of the policies they are running so that we can also bring to bear the technologies that we have.” Naa Armah said.
Mr Kenneth Abdulai Nelson, Chief Executive officer, Farm 360, said the deployment of agriculture innovations would save farmers time and money, by automating tasks and replacing much of the labour needed on a farming operation.
He said the government must partner the private sector to develop home-grown technologies to support the implementation of government policies to increase the contribution of the agriculture sector to the Gross Domestic Product.
Mr Benedict Osei-Bonsu, Founder and Chairman, Connect Trade Network, said the country was not utilising technology enough in the agriculture sector, and called for strong collaboration with the private sector to explore opportunities in that space.
“A huge percentage of our GDP comes from the agriculture sector, so it is one area that must always be at the top of our national agenda,” he said.