More work needed to optimise agric
Yesterday, Ghanaians celebrated farmers and fisherfolks for their continued commitment and dedication to feed the over 30 million population.
The celebration, which was held at the district, regional and national levels, was to ensure every Ghanaian got the feel of the day at their local levels right up to the national level.
We at the Daily Graphic join the nation to congratulate our farmers and fisherfolks and urge them to continue not only to put food on our tables but that they should take advantage of all the policies put in place, especially the launch of the Planting for Food and Jobs Phase Two (PFJ2.0) to produce enough to make money and improve their living conditions.
The theme: "Delivering smart solutions for sustainable food security and resilience" is a wakeup call that farming can no longer be business as usual, if we want to really ensure sustainable food security with the devastating impact of climate change on the agricultural farms and river bodies.
This year's celebration is, therefore, a clarion call on farmers to embrace technology and innovation in the agricultural space in order to remain relevant.
That is why the theme resonates with the new direction of agriculture with the PFJ 2 leading the way. The substitution of direct input subsidy with smart agricultural financial support in the form of comprehensive input credit with provision for in-kind repayment is a welcome move that deserves all the support.
This has been so, possibly because of the significant role farmers play in the development and prosperity of our nation.
Surely, what necessitated the institution of the day and declaring it as a public holiday continues to remind us that with unity, purpose and nationalism, we can do anything under the sun.
Today, we continue to celebrate farmers and fisherfolks because they continue to contribute significantly to the growth of the economy, positioning itself as the largest employer in the country.
The Daily Graphic, while congratulating farmers, especially the award winners, urges them not to lower their guard and the standard set by their predecessors, which justified this celebration.
We urge farmers in the country to be guided and inspired by that phenomenon in the 1980s, when farmers went farming on empty stomach, using traditional farming implement - hoe and cutlass, to turn the situation around.
This is the more reason why the current farmers cannot afford to fail in this era of innovation and technological overdose and machinery that can use 10 minutes to cover an area, which their forbearers could use a whole week to do same.
As we celebrate them, the Daily Graphic notes that as a nation, we need to reflect on the performance of the agric sector and really ask whether we have managed to maximise the potential of the sector.
Truth is, there is a general consensus that agric has the potential of transforming the economy and making the country food sufficient thereby achieving food sufficiency, however, we have not done well enough.
We have the best intentions, policies and programmes for the sector, however, there appears to be a reluctance or seemingly hesitation in walking the talk to solve our food sufficiency challenges.
Isn’t it a shame that a country that is blessed with adequate rainfall and fertile tracts of land across the nation can’t simply feed itself?
How do we explain that, in spite of all the resources, including arable lands and the expertise, it is regrettable that we are still scratching the surface and haven’t been able to optimise agric productivity?
It is unacceptable that we have a situation where food inflation is hovering around 50 per cent which is quite high among our peers in the West African sub-region, considering our natural endowments.
While wishing our farmers well, we believe there is still so much to be done in the agriculture space to enable the country to maximise the opportunities available in the sector.
Surely, agriculture is the way to go and we have no excuse to fail.