The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has appealed to development partners to intensify their efforts, by engaging more with the ministry to provide a more holistic approach towards the development of the country’s agriculture.
He said the government intended to involve the private sector in the new agricultural policy, dubbed “Planting for Food and Jobs”, not only to promote food security but also create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
Dr. Akoto made the statement when addressing a technical summit, organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Feed the Future’s Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE), in Accra.
The minister said Ghana’s agricultural sector had lots of potentials, which he said had been left untapped, particularly by development partners and individuals with the capacity.
He has, therefore, given the assurance that the NPP government under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was committed to engaging the private sector and creating the enabling environment for investment in agriculture.
Dr. Akoto commended the USAID for their various interventions, particularly in the northern sector of the country, which had resulted in the improvements of lives of many farmers.
According to him, the policy ties into USAID’s efforts at combating food insecurity and ensuring better lives for Ghanaian farmers.
The eventbrought together development partners, government officials, farmers and the private sector on the theme “Scaling up Impact and Sustainability.”
It featured panel discussions on generating opportunities within the agriculture sector, as well as lessons learnt.
Topics discussed included agricultural trade and marketing, information, communications and technology, gender equality in farming, leveraging agricultural finance and access to agricultural inputs.
The USAID/Ghana Deputy Mission Director, Steven Hendrix, noted that The Feed the Future Initiative brings USAID, together with other development partners and governments to build a more food secure future.
He stated that last year, more than 100,000 farmers in the northern part of the country, increased their incomes as a result of the ADVANCE programme, which focused on the cultivation of maize, rice and soybeans.
“The Government of Ghana is one of our important partners in our quest to advance Ghana’s economy and agricultural growth. The United States Government is committed to working with the Ghana Government to address the ongoing challenges in the agricultural sector, with the aim to build a sustainable and enabling environment where opportunities for trade flourish,” Mr. Hendrix noted.