Farming can be a tough business, even in the best of times, but imagine not being able to prove that the land that you cultivate is even yours.
In Ghana, about 10 per cent of smallholder farmers do not have any kind of certificate documenting their ownership rights.
Not only does this put them in a vulnerable position; it can also often lead to disputes. And if your land is the main asset you want to borrow against, getting a loan can prove difficult, too.
A lot has been said about Ghana’s economy and the need to boost agricultural production to feed the nation, provide jobs for the people, stem rural-urban migration, reduce poverty and enhance the nutritional needs of citizens.
Sadly, though, little effort has been made by our governments and stakeholders over the years to significantly develop the nation’s agricultural industry.
investing consciously in agriculture will have an enormous multiplier effect on the economy.
It will spur growth in the services sector, industry, as well as the manufacturing sector.
There is no doubt that increased productivity in agriculture and manufacturing can turn around the economy.
It will provide jobs for thousands of people and ensure food security. Additional investment in agriculture will bring in foreign exchange when the surplus from what we produce is exported.
It is the view of the Daily Graphic that an increase in integrated decision-making processes at national and regional levels are needed to achieve synergies and adequately address trade-offs among agriculture, water, energy, land and climate change.
The Daily Graphic, therefore, suggests that agricultural advice delivered by mobile phone is one of the most effective methods of sharing information. It takes advantage of the explosion in mobile technologies used in developing countries.
Again, the government should step up a programme to subsidise fertilisers for farmers across the country. The subsidised fertilisers should be extensively available to all farmers who need them and can afford them.
The government should also recruit more agricultural extension officers to serve in the farming communities to advise and guide farmers along the best farming practices.
Even though we live in a country with a growing population, limited natural resources and a changing climate, we have the tools, technologies and partnerships to ensure that food security is an achievable goal.
As the population grows, much more effort and innovation will be required to sustainably increase agricultural production, improve the supply chain, reduce food losses and waste and ensure that all who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition have access to nutritious food at affordable prices.