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Business News of Tuesday, 24 November 2020


Stakeholders call for value addition policies for peasant farmers

Speakers at the Agriculture Manifesto Forum Speakers at the Agriculture Manifesto Forum

Stakeholders in the agriculture sector have asked policymakers to provide the necessary support to improve the livelihoods of peasant farmers in Ghana.

According to them, policymakers must remain committed to implementing comprehensive agricultural policies irrespective of their political party affiliation.

National President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Abdul Karim, urged for an uninterrupted supply in the value chains and strong market linkages to deepen food safety in all parts of the country.

Addressing participants and stakeholders at the Agriculture Manifesto Forum in Accra on Tuesday, Harry Yamson, Spokesperson for agriculture of the National Democratic Congress outlined irrigation as one of the measures that can be used to minimize drought.

According to him, only 12 percent of cultivable land in Ghana is currently under irrigation.

“In our 2020 manifesto, we the [NDC] plan to double that to 24 percent and we will not do that by borrowing but introducing Private Partnership…We all know the pressure that comes with the budget in terms of debt so we want to double the scale of irrigation in Ghana by doing so in very close partnership with the private sector. At the same time, we have to preserve the catchment areas that allow us to feed our water bodies,” he explained.

Dr Sagre Bambangi, Deputy Minister, Food and Agriculture in Charge of Annual Crops under the governing New Patriotic Party on his part said outlined some ongoing and completed farming irrigation projects in the country.

He also reiterated the government's commitment to putting in place a strategic response to safeguard Ghana’s food security status and ensure a robust food system that would minimize the impact of destructive forces in the short, medium and long term.

“The strategies include the promotion of value addition, agro processing, expanded storage facilities, innovative marketing of farm produce and mainstreaming of appropriate and improved technology to remove the drudgery of farming,” Sagre Bambangi told stakeholders,” Sagre Bambangi.

The Agriculture Manifesto Forum was organised by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) in collaboration with SEND Ghana, Oxfam Ghana, and the International Budget Partnership with a focus to share perspectives and expectations for the agricultural sector by the two main political parties.