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Adopt modern agricultural technologies - Dep. Agric Minister urges farmers

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi
Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Hardi Tufeiru
Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Hardi Tufeiru

A Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Hardi Tufeiru, has charged Ghanaian farmers to adopt modern agricultural technologies and solutions to enable them to increase their production and productivity.

He said it was only through the application of agricultural technologies and solutions such as the use of improved seeds, right fertilizers, pest and disease control mechanisms, would help the farmers to maximise their yields and protect their crops from pest and diseases.

Alhaji Tufeiru made the remarks when he opened a three-day agriculture and Technology exhibition fair at the Accra International Conference Centre on Tuesday, March 23, 2022.

The ‘Agritech West Africa 2022’, which brought more than 100 exhibitors from Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Turkey, United Kingdom, and India, was held on the theme: “Agriculture Modernisation and the Adoption of Innovative Practices for Good Healthy Food".

The exhibition was organised by Agritech West Africa, a leading exhibition company in India, in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The fair saw players in agrochemicals, machinery, food processing, packed food and beverages all displaying their tents.

The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Hardi Tufeiru cutting the tape to formally open the Agritech West Africa 2022

The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture commended WegVoraus, the organizers of the ‘Agritech West Africa 2022’, the largest agriculture exhibition to be held in Ghana, for their ingenuity in bringing agricultural solutions to Ghanaian farmers and the government as a whole.

For him, agricultural exhibitions provide a platform where agricultural value chain stakeholders, particularly farmers are exposed to new technologies and solutions to help improve their production and productivity.

For Alhaji Tufeiru, the 3-day agriculture and Technology exhibition, which ended on March 25, 2022, would serve as a marketing platform for agriculture technology, agrochemicals, irrigation systems companies, and all products related to agriculture and value addition, to connect and meet agribusiness partners farmers, food producers and processers.

The Deputy Minister said the exhibition had come at the right time to offer varied opportunities to farmers and agricultural value chain actors to select options that could help them in their work.

He said providing agricultural solutions and technologies to boost agriculture in the country was in tandem with President Akufo-Addo’s vision of making agriculture pivotal to Ghana’s developmental efforts.

He noted that the exhibition would provide a one-stop shop for farmers and stakeholders in the agriculture value-chain to access modern technology and vital information to aid their decision-making.

The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Hardi Tufeiru touring some of the exhibitions

"Agricultural exhibitions are strategic events organised all over the world by progressive countries seeking to promote the development of agriculture and to fast-track economic growth on a sustainable basis," he observed.

In addition, he said, "As an emerging economy seeking to accelerate growth and ensure sustainable development, Ghana has no choice but to adopt modern technology and best practices around the world to complement home-grown solutions for transforming its economy.”

For his part, the Project Director of Agritech West Africa, Mr Thomas James, who conducted the Deputy Agric Minister through the various pavilions to interact with the exhibitors, explained that the exhibition is vital in helping stakeholders in Ghana’s agriculture and food processing industry to learn about new practices, products and modern technology and innovations around the globe and adopt same to improve their trade.

The Managing Director of Callighana Company Ltd, a subsidiary of the global group UPL, Mr Bernard Buertey Okutu, expressed the optimism that the fair will help to bring agricultural solutions to the doorstep of Ghanaian farmers.

For him, many Ghanaian farmers lacked the technology and innovative solutions to improve their farming, noting that such a situation only leads to low production and productivity.

He said about 80 per cent of Ghanaian farmers were smallholder farmers and that such farmers as well as those into industrial or large scale farming needed new technologies and agricultural solutions to optimise their work.

Mr Okutu, for instance, noted that it will take education to help Ghanaian farmers to appreciate the need to switch from their conventional ways of farming to adopting new technologies in their work such as the use of improved seeds.