‘Let’s make agriculture a game changer’



The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Fiifi Kwetey, has reiterated government’s commitment to position agriculture as a ‘game-changer’ to drive not only the country’s economy, but the continent to feed its ever-growing population.

After seeing a slowdown during 2011-12, agriculture’s expansion picked up to 5.2 percent in 2013, accounting for 22 percent of GDP in a country that has about 70 percent of its population engaged in agric production.

Africa’s population will more than double to 2.4 billion within 40 years, and this the Food and Agriculture Minister there is the need to encourage farmers to produce more to meet the demand.

To achieve this, he encouraged the private sector and farmers to partner government to make the agric sector lucrative and attract the youth and graduates to see it as a profession.

Mr. Kwetey assured of the ministry’s commitment to project agriculture as it is very important for creating an inclusive economy, especially farmers is the rural areas.

He made this statement when a delegation from the National Food and Agric Show (FAGRO) led by the President of US Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, paid a courtesy call on him at the ministry in Accra.

Roger Johnson, who is in the country, is expected to inspire the youth and urge them to view agriculture as a business, and learn lessons that can be drawn from applying appropriate technologies.

Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Dr. Lamourdia Thiombiano recently explained that the relative low growth of agriculture compared to other sectors is a sign that investment needs to be improved.

Within West Africa, Ghana ranks highly on the level of private capital flowing into agriculture. Yet more investment is required from both government and the private sector.

Experts say this needs action from governments and others to invest in research to produce high-yielding crop varieties, improve marketing and add more value to produce instead of exporting raw commodities.

The fair which is slated for tomorrow in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region will attract over 50 local and international exhibitors from USA, Brazil, Spain, Nigeria and Burkina-Faso.

The theme for this year’s event is “Sustainable Agricultural Growth and Development: Reducing Risk”.

Since this FAGRO is focusing energy and its activities on some schemes and technologies that can aid in reducing risk in agric businesses and farms for growth.

FAGRO provides the platform for farmers and participants to learn modern techniques of Agricultural marketing, the appropriate and modern use of farming technology, and also farm business management such as laws and policies, accessing land, water, effective production services, resource management and conservation practices.

source : B&FT