Stakeholders discuss challenges confronting agric sector

The media has been urged to increase their coverage of vital agriculture issues in order to shape government policies to engender private sector participation and investment in agriculture in Ghana.

 

Researchers and policymakers are also encouraged to involve the media in all phases of project activities-design, process, and implementation to deepen their knowledge in the policy framework.

 

Dr Richard Ampadu and Dr Charity Osei of the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research said this in a two-fold presentation on exploring critical media challenges and value chain reporting opportunities.

They were facilitating a discussion on the role of the media in promoting a private sector-led agriculture economy in Ghana held in Accra on Wednesday.

 

The media dialogue was held to critically discuss challenges that confront private sector operators in the agriculture sector and how government can create the enabling environment to stimulate private sector interest and participation in the sector.

 

In his opening remarks, Professor Baffour Agyemang Badu-Duah, Chief Executive Officer of John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation, underscored the need for relevant actors in the agrifood system to recognise the fact that agriculture is a business, not subsistence.

 

Organised by The Hunger Alliance of Ghana, the dialogue brought together a number of media practitioners and associated organisations in Ghana to consolidate a new partnership between the media and the private sector to advocate for policy reforms to promote private sector interest and participation in the agriculture sector.

 

Mr. Walter Nunez-Rodriguez, the Chief of Party of USAID Feed-the-Future Agriculture Policy Support Project (USAID/APSP) said that the “dialogue is the basis for a good policy-making process therefore the need to allow views exchange and acceptance.

 

“The support from USAID is aimed at amplifying the voice of the public and private sector in advocating on crucial agricultural issues to improve Ghana’s agricultural policy,” he added.

 

Participants stressed the need for the respective value chain actors such as the government, government agencies, civil society, development partners and private sector to prioritise the media in the provision of timely, responsive, and accessible agricultural information to the general public as a means of exposing limitless value chain opportunities in the sector.

Dr Dorothy Effa, of the Policy Planning and Budget Directorate (PPBD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture gave an overview of the current state of agriculture in Ghana, interspersed with useful data from the government’s flagship agriculture programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).

 

She also underscored the need for continuous dialogue with key value chain actors to improve the implementation of government programmes.

 

The Executive Director of Hunger Alliance of Ghana, Nana Ayim Poakwa, emphasised the unique role of the media in the promotion of agricultural investment in Ghana.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

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