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Business News of Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Source: B&FT

Israeli Ambassador advises smallholder farmers

The Israeli ambassador to Ghana, Sharon Bar-li, has urged smallholder farmers/entrepreneurs to take advantage of the upcoming Agrictech international exhibition conference in Israel slated for April 28-30 this year in order to be exposed to innovations and learn from Israeli high-tech agricultural practices.

Speaking at an interaction with stakeholders at the agritech 2015 breakfast meeting, she said Israel has achieved great heights in agricultural development through implementing advanced technology-based strategies.

The expo will showcase production, skills and technologies related to agro business that are being used in Israel, according to the ambassador.

Ambassador Sharon Bar-li urged Israeli entrepreneurs to invest in Ghana’s agriculture sector which is still dependent on traditional practices.

The Food and Agriculture Minister Fiifi Kwetey welcomed the Israeli offer, saying “Israel’s story is one to follow. We need to import from Israel the spirit of resilience.”

According to the minister, what Israel is offering Ghana if taken seriously can see modernisation of agriculture and other businesses, which will subsequently propel productivity and maximise profit.

A fertiliser subsidy programme aimed at making farmers recognise the importance of agriculture and also rake in higher yields is expected to be rolled-out by government later in March, the minister explained.

The key note speaker, Anat Lowengart-Aycicegi, encouraged the Ghanaian agriculture sector to adopt the “Family drip or family garden” system, which she claims has worked well in Israel.

Family farms, she explained, have been transformed with time In Israel; and for farmers to make a living out of it they need to adopt a holistic approach, including “improving crop yield and maximising output by increasing their know-how transfer, post-harvest technology, domestic market and government support”.

Agritech 2015 covers a variety of fields such as Agricultural Machinery and Greenhouses, Livestock & Dairy Farming, Fertilisers & Chemicals, Irrigation & Water Management, Turnkey Projects & Knowledge Transfer, Organic Agriculture, Post-Harvest Treatment and much more.

The event also features AgriVest, an investors’ conference co-organised by Israel NewTech, the Investment Promotion Centre of the Israeli Economy Ministry, and Trendlines Agtech Accelerator in association with Agritech 2015.

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