Graphic Development series, High-level agric  dialogue in Kumasi -  under the auspices of Otumfuo  Osei Tutu
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II — Asantehene

Graphic Development Series: High-level agric dialogue in Kumasi - under the auspices of Otumfuo Osei Tutu

The Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) will, on March 28, this year, hold the first edition of its new project, the Graphic National Development Series (GNDS), in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

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The GNDS is an initiative meant to diagnose some of the major socio-economic issues confronting the country and prescribe solutions to them.

The initiative, which will be held in the month of the country’s independence celebration each year, will assemble some of the best brains, both home and abroad, in one room to discuss the issues under consideration and make recommendations.

Themes for the discussions will be carefully selected to reflect the urgent needs of the country in order to help influence national discourse and stimulate actionable initiatives and policies.

The Kumasi edition, which will be held at the Lancaster Hotel from 10 a.m. on the said date, and which will be chaired by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is on the theme: "Transforming Ghana's agriculture using home-grown solutions for food security."

The event is expected to bring together agricultural value-chain actors, including farmer associations, input dealers, marketers, policy makers, development partners, financial institutions and distribution agents.

The programme will have the Director of the Organic Farm Centre, Songhai, Professor Godfrey Nzamujo, as the main speaker.

Among other speakers billed to speak at the event is a former Member of Parliament for Twifo Atti-Morkwa in the Central Region, Abraham Dwuma Odoom.

Expectations

Sharing more insights on the initiative, the Director of Sales and Marketing of the GCGL, Franklin Sowa, said the GCGL, as the leader in the media industry, had a greater responsibility to set the agenda for the country’s development.

He said over the years, the company had played an important role in the country’s development and had just come up with an additional avenue that would help the country tackle some of its major challenges.

He said the GNDS would create a pool of solutions that were critical to the country’s development, explaining that the agricultural sector, for instance, was the key driver of the country’s economy.

GNDS platform  

“We have been part of the process of finding solutions to problems that we have identified and also problems on which we have reported,” Mr Sowa said, pointing out that “we have realised that, as a nation, we do not have any platform on which, around independence, we can discuss very topical issues of national interest that are solution directed”.

He said it would be prudent if, during the independence celebrations of the country, one key issue could be picked and addressed, as the GCGL intended to do.

“We believe strongly that anytime we celebrate our independence or mark our independence, it must trigger a conversation around sensitive issues of national interest to improve our lives,” he explained.

He said the company chose agriculture for the first edition of the GNDS, considering the various reports on rising cost of food in the country due to many solvable factors, including the high cost of production.

He indicated that once the country was food secure, it would affect other sectors positively, hence the need to pay critical attention to the agricultural sector.

Mr Sowa noted that the Kumasi event would tackle all aspects of the agricultural value chain, saying “this event is targeting relevant stakeholders in the agricultural sector”.

He wondered why, in spite of the country’s fertile lands, it continued to rely on imported food to feed its population.

“In Ghana, everywhere you grow something it will grow,” he said, and asked: “So how come we are still importing everything?”

“Look at the amount of money we are spending to import only rice that money can be used to address the light issue in hospital theatres in the north,” he added.

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Partnerships

Mr Sowa encouraged all corporate bodies and development partners to come on board to make the GNDS a success to help turn the country’s fortunes around positively and commended the corporate bodies that had so far shown interest in the programme and partnered the GCGL.

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