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Business News of Thursday, 29 July 2021


Ghana CARES to provide catalytic support in driving agric sector efficiency – Ofori-Atta

SMEs in the agricultural sector have urged government to provide subsidises for agricultural imports play videoSMEs in the agricultural sector have urged government to provide subsidises for agricultural imports

• The Ghana CARES programme is expected to provide support for stakeholders in the agric sector

•This would be done through investments in technologies and data to drive productivity

•Government plans to register some 1.2 million farmers by the end February, 2022

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has assured stakeholders in the agriculture value chain of government’s support to improving their yields and farm output.

The minister, presenting the 2021 mid-year budget statement before Parliament, explained that the Ghana CARES programme will provide catalytic support to drive efficiency and improve outputs in the agricultural sector by investing in data and digital technology.

“Mr. Speaker, to modernise our agriculture sector, we are investing in initiatives that will improve production and productivity in the rice, poultry, soybean, and tomato sub-sectors this year."

“The recent engagement with all the value-chain actors in these sub-sectors has sharpened the focus of investments in a holistic manner. We are therefore providing interest rate subsidies, facilitating equipment acquisition, linking markets and producers as well as promoting relevant research in these sub-sectors. The youth are being supported this year to become out growers for anchor farmers and boost their participation in commercial farming.”

“Additionally, the program would support the reform of the fertilizer subsidy system using digital technology, to make it more efficient and less prone to smuggling. This would be achieved by registering farmers for improved targeting. The registration will provide information on farmers’ biodata, crops cultivated, acreage, digital location of farms to track seed and fertilizer subsidy programme. By end February, 2022, 1.2 million farmers will be registered,” he disclosed.

Meanwhile, some farmers’ association in the agriculture value chain have described the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative of government as one that is not sustainable for their farm outputs.