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Business News of Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Source: GNA

Government leveraging on e-agriculture to empower farmers

Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Agriculture has reassured that the government is leveraging on its digitalisation drive to spearhead technologically driven agriculture to empower farmers through e-agriculture.

The “e-agriculture” system is a platform that enables agricultural experts, farmers and community members to exchange opinions and resources relating to agriculture for mutual gain.

Dr. Afriyie-Akoto was speaking at the official launch of the 37th Farmers Day celebration and Trade and Exhibition Fair currently underway in the Central Regional capital, Cape Coast.

The five-day agro trade exhibition would enable stakeholders within the agriculture and fisheries sectors to showcase products of their respective sectors.

The e-system is hinged on delivering agricultural information and knowledge services such as market prices, extension services, technology, policies, programmes and projects using the internet and related technologies.

"Ghana is on a mission of leveraging technology in all sectors including agriculture. E-Agriculture is therefore being mainstreamed to ensure efficient delivery of services to farmers and also actors along the agricultural value chain to enhance productivity and output for greater profitability.

"We are very excited about the new era of technology and some of the areas that technology is being applied. These include extension services, development of a database for the biometric registration of farmers for effective targeting, soil mapping and disease control among others," he said.

Dr. Afriyie-Akoto indicated that the five-day fair had been an integral part of planned activities ahead of the grand durbar to afford actors in the agricultural space ample time to interact longer to serve the purpose of the fair.

"This is an important strategy for accelerating our effort towards the realisation of the modernisation and transformation agenda for agriculture to contribute to the objectives of job creation, food security and poverty reduction if the knowledge, exposure and lessons learnt here are translated into action", he stated.

Notwithstanding, he mentioned the hikes in prices on the international market of agricultural products such as fertiliser and agrochemicals both of which were critical to achieving the transformational agenda, as challenges.

He said the impact on the subsidy programme under the Planting for Food and Jobs Campaign has been worrying and especially the reported shortages of subsidized input in some parts of the country.

"As a Ministry, we are doing everything possible to stabilise the situation in the coming year. The Ministry will continue to work closely with the private sector and our development partners in delivering the modernisation and transformation agenda and ensuring food security by building resilient food systems and supporting farmers in particular," he added.

Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture thanked all Farmers, fishermen and fish processors who worked tirelessly to provide fish to feed the nation despite the peculiar challenges of the post-COVID-19 era.

She gave the assurance that her Ministry will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure sustainability and building of resilient food systems in the fisheries value chain.

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