For a country like Ghana, it is very difficult to understand why in spite of the vast fertile lands available, we continue to import food items that can be produced in Ghana.
This is very discouraging to the numerous farmers, who are engaged in the production of food across the country. Instead of encouraging them to produce more food to feed the nation, we engage in huge imports of food items from other parts of the world.
This implies that as food imports increase, needless pressure is put on the Cedi, which is one reason why the currency keeps deteriorating in value.
Ghanaians do not have any good reason for continuing to import food items into the country, when they can be produced in the country?
It is quite disturbing that in 2016, 2.2 billion dollars was spent on the importation of eight food items that are grown in the country.
There are, therefore, good reasons to support moves aimed at boosting local food production.
Apart from available fertile lands, the country can boast of a dependable labour force that can boost the agricultural sector and increase food production.
In fact this is the way Ghana can reduce its dependence on foreign countries for food items.
It is unacceptable that after so many years of political independence, the country continues to rely on foreigners to supplement its food requirements.
Countries like Israel have barren lands, yet, it is able to engage in serious agricultural production to feed its people. Ghana has, therefore, no excuse to import food items that can be produced locally.
This is why the government’s “Planting for Food and Jobs” project ought to be supported by the people, and should be executed in a manner that will bring the required results.
The project targets eight crops and seeks to increase maize production by 30 per cent, rice by 40 per cent, soya bean by 20 per cent and sorghum by 20 per cent for local consumption and export.
If some countries are in need of food because of infertile lands, it is understandable, but even some of these countries with poor lands fight hard to feed their population.
Thus, when we come to Ghana, it is inexcusable to import food items from other countries, seeing that the land in Ghana is among the most fertile ones in the world.
Ghana is unable to engage in all-year-round farming because we do not have adequate number of irrigation dams.
This again shows why the “One Village, One Dam” concept envisaged by the government is good for the country.
What is left is for the government to walk the talk, and with the support of the people, implement the project to increase Ghana’s food production.
This is one of the surest ways to create more jobs, feed ourselves and export food for foreign exchange earner through agriculture.