President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the government will soon introduce a special purpose vehicle to offer credit facilities to farmers and agribusinesses in the country.
According to the President, access to credit is a major challenge agribusinesses face in the country due to the risks associated with their business.
As a result, he said farmers and businesses in the sector had not been able to expand to contribute more to the country’s economic growth like their peers in neighbouring countries like Ivory Coast.
Whereas Ivory Coast gains on the average US$16 billion from its agricultural sector, Ghana gets about US$2 billion from the sector, eight times less, he observed.
To address the problem, the President said he had been discussing the matter with his Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie, and would soon announce government’s interventions.
President Akufo-Addo made these remarks in an interaction with the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.
With the introduction of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), he said it was imperative to support Ghanaian agribusinesses to enable them take advantage of the opportunities.
“If we do not wake up and organise ourselves well, then we are going to have big problems. I am a strong supporter of the AfCFTA but then the Ghanaian end of it also has to be up and doing so that we can take advantage and not be a victim of the market that is coming,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo also spoke about the need to build the capacity of stakeholders in the agricultural sector to support the businesses in the sector to be more productive.
He said the country had been able to address the issues that prevented the export of agricultural products to the European Union and stressed the need to increase the capacity of the stakeholders to ensure that the quality of the products exported did not reduce.
On poultry commercialisation, he said the government would focus its attention to improving the production of poultry products to feed the country and for export.
“I am very happy though about the mechanisation and the idea that now we are getting more machinery that is user friendly for the kind of farming structures that we have. I think that is more important development,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo spoke about the Tree Crop Development Authority and the matters the authority would address and pledged to consult the farmers in selecting the right person to manage the authority.
The farmers presented a number of challenges to the President and how the government can help address some of the challenges to improve production.
By Yaw Kyei