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Business News of Friday, 21 May 2021


Leveraging on digitisation to develop Ghana’s agricultural sector - MoFA

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture

The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has emphasised the use of digitalisation as a necessary tool in the development of agricultural sector. He added that utilization of digitisation will help improve agriculture in so many ways including extension and advisory services, financial inclusion as well as promoting environmentally sustainable farming practice.

Dr Afriyie Akoto made the observation in an address read for him at the Second Agribusiness Fair and Conference in Wa.

GBC’s Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo reports that the event was organised by the Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) in collaboration with the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council.

The Director of Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) Directorate at the Agriculture Ministry, Richard Twumasi-Ankrah who deputised for Dr Afriyie Akoto spoke about the need to transform the agric sector for socio-economic advancement of the country.

He stated: “The agriculture sector of Ghana needs to be transformed to trigger the socio-economic development of the nation to achieve the objective of providing lifeline for millions of households in terms of food and jobs.”

The Director of PPME was very grateful to the European Union for providing financial support for the European Union-Ghana Agriculture Programme of which the Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) is a component.

The German Ambassador to Ghana, Christoph Retzlaff, who addressed the conference via video, touched on the aim of German Development Cooperation in Ghana.

“The aim of German Development Cooperation in Ghana is to support Ghana in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth. These also include improving the friendly conditions for private investment and promoting employment, especially after the COVID-19 crisis. One of the priority areas of our joint intervention is training and sustaining the growth for decent jobs,” Ambassador Retzlaff averred.

The EU Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Political Section, Pieter Smidt Van Gelder commenting on the event stated, “Our common objective is to improve the quality of life of the communities who derive most of their income from agriculture.”

Mr Van Gelder continued that the focus is to ensure that smallholder farmers have the means to move out from pure subsistence to developing a small enterprise for those ready to do so.

The Country Director of GIZ, Madam Regina Bauerochse-Barbosa, said her organisation’s partnership with Ghana seeks to improve general conditions for private sector involvement which sets the foundation for job creation and income generation, particularly for women and children.

She announced that GIZ Ghana is moving away from mainstream agriculture as a core focus area to agribusiness which is under the training and sustainable growth for decent jobs focal point pillar.

The Chief Director of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, Peter Maala, assured development partners that the MOAP which is being implemented by GIZ will be carried out in sync with existing agricultural interventions in a coordinated and efficient manner.

There were panel discussions on climate change, women empowerment and digitalization.

The panel session on climate change

The two-day event which saw some exhibitors also participating was themed: “Boosting the Agribusiness Potential of North-Western Ghana”.