Irrigation and quality seeds are crucial to transforming Ghana’s agriculture, former Nebraska State Senator, Ken Schilz, has said.
To this end, he entreated the government to invest massively in those areas to promote agriculture in the country.
Mr Schilz joined by other two senators from Nebraska, Julie Slama and Andrew La Grone, and a business consultant, Kofi Amoabin, are in the country to explore investment opportunities in the country’s agriculture and build partnership with farmers and agribusiness operators in the country.
Facilitated by Agrihouse Foundation, an organisation committed to the promotion of agri-business, the objective of the programme is to drive investment and technology transfer on agriculture between the two countries.
Mr Schilz said irrigation was crucial to promote all-year round farming and quality seed could enhance productivity.
He said Ghanaian farmers were hardworking and entrepreneurial and with the right agriculture technological support they could expand and enhance their production.
“Seed genetics is a great opportunity Ghana can take advantage of to improve crop yields,” Mr Schilz.
Mr Schilz said Nebraska, which was also an agricultural state in the US, had great expertise in advanced agricultural machinery and could export same to Ghana to help promote agriculture.
He said Ghana and Nebraska had similarities in agriculture and both countries could tap the opportunities in both countries.
“We just don’t want to be a sail between Nebraska and Ghana. What we would like to is we would like to create those businesses so that the people in Ghana can set up those businesses and be representatives and own part of that, that is coming from Nebraska, so that it is not a one way stream so that everyone can benefit from it,” he said.
Julie Slama, Nebraska State Senator, said she was excited about the potentials of Ghana’s agriculture.
She said the visit was to learn the best practices of farmers in Ghana, stressing the visit would be of mutual benefit for both countries.
Ms Slama indicated that Nebraska was a rural economy and an agricultural state with most of the residents engaged in the production of maize and soya.
Mr Grone for his part said he had learnt a lot from the visit to the country and particularly in Ghana’s agriculture sector.
He expressed the hope that the visit would help promote exchange of ideas on how agriculture could be promoted in both countries.
The Chief Executive Officer of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Akyaa Akosa, said the programme was meant to create a platform for farmers in Ghana to be introduced to the agricultural technologies in Nebraska and also for the Nebraskan Senators to learn from the investment opportunities that existed in the agriculture sector in the country.
She said the focus of the Senators was to project the technological potentials and sustainable agricultural solutions of Nebraska and how they can build good relationship between the two countries.
Ms Akosa said disclosed that there would be an exchange programme where Ghanaian farmers would have the opportunity to visit Nebraska to learn about agriculture in the country.
Ms Akosa further said under the partnership there would be training and capacity building for Ghanaian farmers to improve their farming and agribusiness.
She further said as part of the partnership, the Nebraskan senators would visit Ghana in the first quarter of next year and follow up with a business delegation to Ghana in the second quarter, after which Ghanaian farmers would visit Nebraska to learn how agriculture was done in that state.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE