Ato Afful (2nd from right), MD, GCGL, exchanging pleasantries with Kwesi Korboe (2nd from left), CEO, GIRSAL Ltd.  Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Ato Afful (2nd from right), MD, GCGL, exchanging pleasantries with Kwesi Korboe (2nd from left), CEO, GIRSAL Ltd. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

At Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting: We need bailout - Farmers agribusiness purveyors demand of government

Discussants at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting have urged the government to bail out private enterprises in the agricultural sector as a means to address food security in the face of rising food inflation.


The three-member panel of discussants with expertise in the agricultural value chain were of the view that the government must shift from the piecemeal approach to investments in the sector and rather adopt a comprehensive investment model that would tackle all the challenges in the sector.

They argued that by bolstering the agricultural sector, the government can help private businesses to increase productivity, improve efficiency and enhance their contribution to the country’s food supply.

They are the 2022 National Best Farmer, Nana Yaw Siriboe, who is also the Akyempemhene of Juaben Traditional Area in the Ashanti Region; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), Kwesi Korboe, and the Head of Food Systems at the World Food Programme (WFP), Steven Odarteifio.

They spoke to the theme of the meeting: “Enhancing Agriculture Sufficiency to Tackle Food Inflation”.


The meeting brought together policymakers, development partners and players in the agricultural value chain. Summing up his remarks, Nana Siriboe said agriculture was an expensive venture, yet profitable and the government must lead the way in making the right investments in the sector.

“We should tackle agriculture extensively; we are doing it in piecemeal and one at a time. If we are tackling mechanisation or preparation, we are leaving out production, and if we are tackling production then we are leaving out post production”.

“But if we want to see results then we should tackle it holistically and the government must lead this process,” the 2022 Best Farmer said. Nana Siriboe said private enterprises in the sector needed a bailout in terms of mechanisation, irrigation infrastructure, and a favourable financing regime.

Stronger collaboration

The CEO of Siriboe Farms also called for stronger collaboration between the government and the private sector to tackle the challenges in the sector. Nana Sirboe said the government must create an enabling environment to allow more participation of private players in the agricultural sector.

“If you look at the policies, a lot of them have been implemented but we still haven’t solved our problems and this will still persist if the private sector does not come in to augment the work that is being done.

 The private sector can only come in when the environment is right,” he said. He also called for a look at the industrialisation of the sector, which would require a high level of mechanisation.

Deliberate action

For his part, Mr Korboe said while the challenges facing the agricultural sector could not be tackled promptly, there must be deliberate actions to address some of the most pressing issues that needed immediate attention.

For instance, the CEO of GIRSAL said, the poultry industry, with the right investments could help reduce imports significantly, while boosting the capacity of local farmers.

“We don’t produce enough chicken in Ghana. We produce just about 13 per cent of what we eat but we import a lot and that accounts for the high food inflation in the country,” he said.

Juxtaposing the country’s huge poultry import bill with that of the USA and Brazil where imports were under one per cent, Mr Korboe said the country would only be out of the woods if attention and resources were given to large-scale farming.

“With the right investments, three to four large-scale farmers could produce all the poultry we import into the country,” the CEO of GIRSAL stressed. 

Binding policy

Beyond that, Mr Korboe said a binding policy on successive governments for private sector-led large-scale commercial farming must be instituted as a means to ensure food security and reduce inflation.

He said there was too much fixation on smallholder farms to the detriment of large-scale agriculture which was not sustainable in tackling food insecurity. Touching on what he called the three Cs – Coherence, Collaboration and Cohesion – Mr Korboe said all must work together to achieve a significant outcome.  


For his part, Mr Odarteifio expressed optimism about the future of the agricultural sector in the country, citing the government's recent efforts to establish economic enclaves as a game-changer.

He stated that for the first time in 60 years, the government had made a concerted effort to create an enabling environment that reduced the initial investment burden on private sector players and paved the way for increased investment and growth in the sector. 


That development, he stated, would have a transformative impact on the industry's potential and performance. “In the Kasuna enclave which is about 10,000 acres of land, government is providing land, electricity, storage infrastructure and accommodation.

“And because it was a rice- dominated enclave, the government will also develop canals and drains that will allow any private sector individual coming in to just go into production,” he said.

Mr Odarteifio said that was a clear demonstration of how the government could incentivise the private sector to come into the agricultural sector.

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