Pay greater attention to commercial viable agric -Dr. Ayesha
By Fatima Adam
African Connection Ghana Limited (AC), a development consulting firm specialized in local economic development, has called on the Ghana government to pay greater attention to commercial viable agriculture.
This, according to AC, would boost agro-based industries and also enhance food security in the West African country.
The Managing Director of African Connection Ghana Limited, Dr. Ayesha Hakeem, made the called at a ‘Focus on Agriculture’ conference held in Accra
The conference and exhibition was under the theme: ‘Market –Driven Agriculture for Accelerated Rural Economic Development’
She noted that her outfit has over the years believed in the need for a shift from subsistence agriculture to commercial one, to enable the agriculture sector reach its full potential as the engine of growth in Ghana.
In this regard, Dr Hakeem said her outfit had collaborated with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture ( MoFA) to improve upon smallholder livelihood; strengthen farmer-based organization (FBO) activities and agric value chain system.
Dr. Ayesha stated that since the establishment of ‘Focus on Agriculture’ in 2009, it serves as a platform for stakeholders in the agric value chain to brainstorm and adopt practical strategies to address challenges hindering the growth of the sector.
“We have over the years implemented market –driven agribusiness initiatives that have not only helped to improve farmer productivity; profitability and access to market but also promoted local economic development”, she added.
According to her, over 7,000 smallholder farmers had benefited from some of their initiatives such as; Ahafo Agribusiness Growth Initiative (AAGI) and Tano- Suraw Agribusiness growth initiative (TAAGI).
The above mention initiative Dr Hakeem noted provided the farmers with knowledge on how to produce to market specifications; improved the quality and yields of produce and how to reduce post-harvest loses, among others.
She hinted that the theme of this year’s ‘Focus on Agriculture’ ‘Market -Driven Agriculture for Accelerated Rural Economic Development’ would be held next month from 3rd-5th in Tamale, in the Northern Region.
African Connection Ghana Limited is once again partnering with MoFA, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to organize the third edition of the ‘Focus on Agriculture’ in Tamale, Dr Hakeem indicated.
The Country Officer for Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Mr. Kehinde O. Makinde stated the agriculture sector is a key component of Ghana’s economy.
He explained that the Government of Ghana had maintained a strong focus on food and security as reflected in the new food and agricultural sector development policy (FASDEP II), which resulted in a change in value chain to agricultural development, value addition and market access.
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