The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has announced a comprehensive plan to modernize and change the fortunes of agriculture in his four year tenure.
The sector which used to be the mainstay of Ghana’s economy has suffered a major down turn in the recent past recording below 4% of GDP in 2016.
Addressing the 68th New Year School at the University of Ghana, Monday, the president said the next four years will see a massive turnaround in the agriculture sector which will modernise the sector and make it attractive for the country’s youth.
“We will create additional businesses and job opportunities in the areas of storage, transport, processing packaging, and marketing of agricultural produce all of which will ensure that our farmers and fisherfolks earn higher incomes,” he said.
The president said the new agricultural policy shall see the involvement of the traditional institutions and district assemblies across the country.
He was encouraged by the commitment of all stakeholders to explore innovative solutions to turn around the fortunes of farmers through the sustained use of ICT in agriculture.
“It is clear that ICT has brought to the fore new ways of doing things. Given the rapid penetration of ICT in our society today, particular the use of mobile telephony there is a realisation that ICT should be integrated to be effectively used as facilitating tools in agricultural development to boost its impact on the lives of our farmers,” he said.
Detailing how the sector will be modernized the president said there shall be the establishment of a “cycle of initiatives and actions that will make the sector more productive, durable and smart.”
“Agriculture continues to be the anchor of the country’s economy employing almost half of our workforce. However in the last few years growth in the sector has declined dramatically. Food is unnecessarily expensive in a country is blessed with fertile land.
“Our production methods are not modern and income levels of our farmers and fisher folks making the sector unattractive to the youth as a viable means of livelihood.
He said in the next four years the vision re shall be improve production efficiency, achieve food security and profitability for our farmers all aimed at significantly increasing agricultural productivity.
“Government will pursue a value addition strategy aimed at rapidly romping up agro-processing and developing new and stable markets for our products,” he said.
The Minister designate for the sector Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto also announced a campaign that will make agriculture a viable occupation for all Ghanaians.
Dubbed planting for food and jobs, Joy News’ Elton John Brobbey reported the minister designate as saying the policy will provide farming inputs, and the deployment of extension officers for all registered farmers.