Enhancing agriculture sufficiency;  sector must be weaned off donor support

Enhancing agriculture sufficiency; sector must be weaned off donor support

Agriculture is the backbone of the economy and an important contributor to the Gross Domenstic Product (GDP) of the country. How many times have we not heard that? 


Yet over the years, the sector which contributes significantly to job creation has been starved of the needed investments to fuel growth.

The lack of adequate investments, proper machinery, climate issues, among many other challenges, have combined to stagnate the growth of the sector which holds a lot of  prospects.

The Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods requires that governments across Africa devote at least 10 per cent of their annual budget to the agriculture sector.

However, over the years, the government devotes just about 4 per cent to 5 per cent of the annual budget to the sector, raising issues with the long-term sustainability of the sector.

This has led to a decline in the sector’s contribution to the economy as it continues to be the lowest contributor to the GDP of the country.

As a country which boasts large arable lands for agricultural production, many have wondered why food inflation continues to be a major driver of inflation in Ghana.

The country’s economy has been battling high inflation which peaked at 54.1% in December 2022, with food inflation consistently identified as a major driver of the surge in inflation.

It is against this background that the Graphic Business, in partnership with Stanbic Bank Ghana, have assembled some experts in the industry to proffer solutions for the consideration of policymakers on how to address the escalating food prices in the country.

To be joined by other stakeholders in the industry at the Labadi Beach Hotel for the 2nd quarter Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast meeting, the experts will delve into the different perspectives of agricultural sufficiency, tackling food inflation and the role and responsibilities of duty-bearers.

Ahead of the meeting, the Graphic Business believes it is about time the sector is weaned off donor support. 

The sector has been largely left to thrive through donor support, with a lot of programmes and policies which are aimed at sustaining the sector left to the discretion of donors. 

We, therefore, believe the government should put in place sustainable measures to finance the sector which serves as a huge source of income to majority of the population.

The newspaper joins calls for the need to establish an Agriculture Development Fund to support the sector. 

The government must also put in place some critical infrastructure that will propel growth and food sufficiency in the sector. Irrigation projects, for instance, are very capital intensive, which makes it difficult for farmers to invest in themselves.

We believe the government can therefore make investments in such critical infrastructure which will enable the country to produce agricultural products all year round.

The returns on such investments when managed well will far outweigh the cost.

Graphic Business believes that with the right policy direction and the political will to see through such ideas, the sector will contribute meaningfully to the economy and assuredly provide food security for all. For, as Robert Nester Marley says in one of his songs - “A hungry man is an angry man.”

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