National Food Buffer Stock Company poised help farmers

The National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) is repositioning itself as a strategic partner in the agricultural value-chain in order to grant greater market access to farmers and other food commodity dealers, Mr Hanan Abdul-Wahab, Chief Executive Officer has said. 

He explained that the move was intended to redirect the agency into the fulfilment of one of its core mandates of addressing price and market challenges farmers faced. 

Mr Abdul-Wahab was addressing this year’s Northern Ghana Investment Conference in Tamale in the Northern Region.

The four-day conference organised by Ridmut Consult Limited brought together key stakeholders to deliberate on economic development issues in northern Ghana. 

Speaking on the topic “Achieving agricultural commercialisation in northern Ghana”, Mr Abdul-Wahab expressed regret that despite the fact that about three quarters of the country’s agricultural produce came from Northern Ghana, deprivation was rife. 

The five regions of the North, he said had vast arable land spread across and could be developed to become the bread-basket of the entire country, aside the fact that land was suitable for various food and cash crops as well as livestock. 

He therefore called for an aggressive plan to commercialise agriculture in that part of the country. 
“The challenge really has been how to commercialise the entire cycle within the agriculture value chain, and this calls for massive investment, innovations and commitment on the part of all stakeholders”, he said. 

Mr Abdul-Wahab commended programmes by government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to industrialise agriculture, citing the agriculture mechanisation, 1 District 1 Warehouse and 1Village 1 Dam, saying it would accelerate the process of commercialising agriculture in the country. 

He stressed the need for agriculture policies to emphasise intensification and commercialisation in order to achieve yield maximisation and feed the growing population. 

He advised farmers to diversify agricultural commodities, re-introduce pest-resilient traditional crops and native livestock, increase market value of traditional crops and comply with safety regulations. 

“We must not overlook the need for the development of linkages between stakeholders and improving access to markets, the development of contract based production systems as well as the linkage between smallholders and agribusiness enterprises”, he concluded. 

In a related development, Mr Abdul-Wahab received the Business Development Executive Award at the weekend to climax this year’s Northern Ghana Investment Conference held in Tamale. 

The award is in recognition of his contribution towards agriculture and for his ongoing reforms at NAFCO since assuming the headship role in 2017. GNA

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