The first edition of the Ghanaian Farmer Conference 2021 has been held at Cocoanut Grove Hotel in Accra with a call on stakeholders and industry to find lasting solutions to the myriads of challenges confronting the agricultural industry in Ghana.
The conference themed; The Role of Stakeholders in solving Agricultural Development Challenges along the Value chain was attended by representatives from public and private institutions, farmers, agribusiness owners, other stakeholders along the agriculture value chain and the media. Agriculture in Africa Media team was present to report on the event.
In a speech read for him, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, noted that the occasion will not only signal the critical role of actors along the agricultural value chain but also mark the beginning of collective responsibility and symbiotic process of taking critical decisions in the agriculture sector. He stated that government’s strategic focus which is in line with the Malabo Declaration, which defined the immediate future of African economies around agriculture, is to improve the agricultural sector through well established and sustainable value chains as an instrument for tripling intra-African trade. The minister said government has introduced subsidised primary processing machinery and equipment to help farmers process their crops immediately after harvest in order to reduce post-harvest loses and cost. According to Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, government is helping to resolve the weak infrastructural systems through the construction of warehouses in some selected districts.
For his part, the General Secretary for General Agriculture Workers Union of the Trade Union Congress (GAWU-TUC_ Edward Kareweh noted that lack of clearly defined roles by stakeholders and regulatory institutions has resulted in chaotic and unregulated agricultural productivity. He stressed the need for roles to be clearly defined for actors and regulatory institutions in order to ensure sanity in the sector and truly make agriculture the backbone of the economy.
In his presentation, a member of Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana Dr Charles Nyaaba indicated the need for research development in order to increase productivity. Dr Nyaaba also stressed the need for a policy direction on agricultural financing, which is a major challenge confronting the Ghanaian farmer.
The Executive Director for the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) Policy Network Ghana, Louis Yaw Afful, said the ACFTA has observed a market avenue of 1.2 billion people with estimated revenue of 3.4 trillion with agriculture covering 60 per cent of its rule of origin. He further noted that out of a total of 90 per cent of the products to be liberalized under the ACFTA, about 60 per cent falls under agriculture. Mr Afful has therefore advocated for support for small-scale farmers to enable them fully occupy the 60 per cent mark of the products to be liberalised under agriculture.
Other speakers at the program include Dr Ernest Baafi from the CSIR-Crop Research Institute, CEO of the National Buffer Stock Company, Hanan Abdul Wahab and the General Manager of Ghana’s Agricultural Insurance Pool (GAIP), Alhaji AliMohammed Katu.
The conference was organised by the Ghanaian Farmer television show team in partnership with Joy business in order to deliberate on and find formidable solutions to challenges bedevilling Ghana’s agricultural sector.
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