The government will assist the private sector to support farmers through input, credit, Bryan Acheampong, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), has said.
This, he said would lower the cost of venturing into agriculture and also allow the 2.5 million people reported to be unemployed to go into farming.
Mr Acheampong said in Accra on Wednesday when the new president and Chief Executive Officer of International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), Mr Hank van Duijn, paid a courtesy call on him.
The call was to deepen collaboration between IFDC and the government of Ghana, through MoFA to promote agriculture in Ghana.
“It is our hope that we move away from direct subsidy which also burdens farmers with access to capital,” Mr Acheampong said.
He said 85 per cent of the cost of farming was in machinery, fertilizer and feeds and that the ministry intended to take the burden from the farmer.
“We are coming up with an aggressive plan, a four-year step-by-step roadmap that will be followed by MoFA and the government to ensure that within the four or maximum five years, we will be able to match our production to consumption, export requirements and match production to industry requirements,” he added.
He said the importation of tomatoes and onions from Burkina Faso would no longer exist and that Ghana would be able to produce enough all year round to feed the citizenry as well as meet both export and industry target.
On his part Mr Duijn said his outfit supports innovative research, market systems development and strategic partnerships to disseminate sustainable agricultural solutions to improve soil health, food security and the livelihoods of agricultural producers.
He said the vision of the centre was to strengthen existing profitable partnerships with strategic stakeholders including the government of Ghana and especially MoFA.
He indicated the IFDC have been working in Ghana since 2002 and had contributed directly and indirectly to the development of agriculture across the country.
Mr Dujin said the centre had implemented several projects and was currently executing the sustainable clusters in agribusiness through learning in entrepreneurship programme which incubates and accelerates inclusive business through partnerships with companies.
He said strengthening food security in Ghana was the only way forward via private sector and farm research
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU