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Business News of Thursday, 13 February 2020

Source: GNA

Government is addressing challenges in agriculture - Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says government is addressing the financing challenges associated with agribusiness to make Ghanaian farmers globally competitive, and reap the benefits inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area

He said this when he met the 2019 best national farmers and fishermen at the Jubilee House, Accra.

Noting the significant contributions of agriculture to Ghana's economy, the President said there was utmost need to address the lack of credit support to farmers to enable them contribute much more to the economic development of the country like their peers in neighboring countries like Cote d"Ivoire.

Ghana makes a paltry $2 billion annually from agriculture compared to the $16 billion that the Ivory Coast rakes in from the sector annually. This disparity, the President said government was keen to address because "if we don’t wake up to organize ourselves well, then we are going to have big problems,”

"You are the only people who can feel the gap and bring us from that $2 billion to $1 billion,” the President told the farmers.

Thus, government, President Akufo-Addo said, would soon announce a special purpose vehicle that would address the problem of lack of credit to farmers.

He noted that it was imperative the capacity of farmers and stakeholders in the agribusiness was developed further to enable them to take advantage of the markets that would be created as a result of coming into force of the AfCFTA.

The President told the farmers that government had addressed the issues that prevented the export of some Agricultural produce to Europe and spoke on the need to build the capacity of stakeholders to upgrade and maintain a strong quality regimen of produce for export.

He assured the farmers that their request to be consulted in the selection of persons to head the Tree Crop Authority would be given the necessary consideration.