The government of Ghana says it anticipates massive dividends soon from its significant investment into the agriculture sector over the last three years.
“We are anticipating a modernized agricultural sector generally, but we also expect abundance of food, improved livelihood for our farmers and fisher-folks, provision of adequate infrastructure to facilitate transportation of agricultural produce, storage, processing and a reduction of importations to a significant level”, Chief Executive Officer of state-owned National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO), Mr. Hanan Abdul-Wahab has said.
He was addressing the Africa –China Business Dialogue in Shanghai, China over the weekend.
This year’s Dialogue, the 6th edition, was organized by the African Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) and the West African Regional Magazine (TWARM).
The event was attended by mainly Chinese, Asian and African business leaders, investors, policymakers and financing institutions, and discussed wide range of issues intended to mitigate challenges of doing business in Africa.
Mr. Abdul-Wahab told the gathering about numerous interventions undertaken by government of Ghana through the Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Fisheries, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives back to what he called the “glorious days of agriculture in Ghana”.
According to him, while programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development and Rearing are intended to revolutionarise agriculture, whip up the interest and participation of young and business-minded persons and encourage employment generation through farming and its associated value-chain while the Rearing for Food and Jobs aims to develop the livestock industry.
He said ongoing projects by the Ministries of Special Development Initiatives and Food and Agriculture to rehabilitate and construct new warehouses under the One District-One Warehouse Initiative will go a long way to enhance the country’s food security efforts being spearheaded by his outfit, the National Food Buffer Stock Company.
“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we are hoping to augment the capacity of our food reserve by 80,000 tons more by the end of this year, thanks to government’s dedicated attention to agriculture”, he said.
Mr. Abdul-Wahab, himself an agricultural engineer and a post-harvest expert, said 500,000 metric tones of both organic and inorganic fertilizer subsidies worth some GHC 400 million to one million farmers will consolidate gains made in the cereals and legume crops sector in the previous two years of the current administration.
On agriculture investment over the last few years, Mr. Abdul-Wahab said government’s decision to expend $216 million on machinery is laudable since it will help transform agriculture to a modernized status to make it more competitive.
He commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the leadership exhibited so far which has greatly benefited the agricultural sector.
Other speakers at the event included the Consular-General of the Nigeria to Shanghai, Anderson Madubike; Co-Founder of JetSpeed, Jennifer QianHua; and the Director of Africa Business Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Yomi Olowe.
The African Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) promotes business and investment collaboration between Africa and China.
Story & photos: Corporate Affairs Dept., NAFCO