Feature Article of Friday, 28 September 2012
Columnist: Kupomey, Gideon
In establishing the relationship between agriculture and development it is a matter of urgency for developing countries as much as our politicians to concentrate on the development of agriculture in Africa particularly Ghana as a sure way of lifting the masses from poverty, starvation, hunger, disease and conflict. Agriculture contributes to development of african countries economically in many ways such as foreign exchange earner, employment both direct and indirect, raw material producer for industries, food, factor contributor etc. with a bout 70 % percent of our rapidly increasing population been agrarian of subsistence, the government and all stakeholders find it not necessary taking any constructive development policy in relation to the development of the masses( agrarian ). Hence the marketable surplus is insignificance for agro-industrial take-off in African context.
The developed countries like Britain also passed this era of revolution call the green revolution where much concentration was given to the development of agriculture for industrial take off looking at the value chain. Currently about50% of industries in developed countries are agro-based ranging from construction, food processing, manufacturing and so on In Ghana for instant where agriculture employed about 70% of the population and still counting, an attempt for Ghana's development without starting from development of agriculture will be a mirage. Development of Agriculture is the blueprint of Ghana's development which has been ignored by government upon governments. Assuming 70% of Ghana's population employed by Agriculture sector is given assistance in various ways such as provision of agric tools and machines, construction of boreholes and dams for irrigation for all year round farming, subsidizing fertilizers, provision of loans to farmers at low interest rate and encouraging commercial farming, production per head will tremendously increase.
These produce will feed our agro based industries in the country. It will also call for establishment of new ones which more labour will move from the agric sector to the industrial sector hence creating more jobs for the boys.
Ghana's development can only be achieved when more concentration is given primarily to the development of agric and subsequently to establishment of agro based Industries, operating outside this will continue to be a development in decreasing return. This is because most industrial produce in Africa are agro based unlike developed countries who are two sided in agro based and service industrial based such as manufacturing of cars, televisions and so on. And if Africa as much Ghana can concentrated on the development of agric as the first stage in our development to feed the agro based industries then we will not be far from bridging the gap between us and the so call developed countries.
One can articulate that development is a stage and as one tries to jump one stage the other stage cannot be reached and you will continue to struggle and your competitors or enemies may perceive to be helping you but behind the scene they are pushing their own agenda. For example why is Britain interested in education of children in cocoa growing areas in Ghana? Is it not the competition between our natural cocoa and their artificial cocoa in the world market? Why is US interested in pulling down Gadaffi in the oil rich Lybia in the name of disguised democracy?
Why is the so call developed countries say "education is the key" when they have passed our stage of growth and development? Why are so many professors on african soil but cannot make anything out of matter? Where from the guns and ammunitions coming from and is it that they want to empty their ammunition warehouse hence creating confusion among the black people out of which market is been created for selling their ammunitions? Why should African leaders depend on foreign theories for the governance of African affairs which are not fully applicable in our contest? Why should it be "aid to Africa" not "aid from Africa" ? Why should our political parties affiliate themselves to other west political parties? Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
It is high time Africans as well as african leaders are prepared to take responsibility of their own actions and inaction hence focusing on what taste good or bad in Africa, where Africa's development can take off and stop begging for manna and bread everyday. I particular will say and surely believed that Africa's growth and development lies heavily on how far development of agriculture is brought on board and how our agro-based industries are been feed.
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