All significant strides achieved by leading agricultural nations are traceable to a collective resolve to attain the monumental. This assertion is not only an unflinching truism; indeed it mirrors what may just be missing in the pool of necessities required to get the local agric industry well on its way to fully reaching its potential.
It is in the light of this that leading agro-chemical firm Yara Ghana Limited has added its voice to calls on stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to contribute massively towards the transformation of the agricultural sector.
At the recently concluded 8th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and Conference where the company had played a stellar role, Yara led the way as scores of local enterprises reaffirmed their commitment to the industry.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 8th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and Conference event held at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale from October 3-5, 2018, the Managing Director of Yara Ghana Limited, Danquah Addo-Yobo, said the progress made after so many years in agriculture is not a worthy reflection of the immense potential inherent in the sector.
According to him, “Knowing how possible it is to transform agriculture in Ghana, sometimes one is sad about the state of agriculture in Ghana after 61 years of independence. Sad, not because there hasn’t been any progress, but the progress made after so many years, is not good enough. Many government programs by different governments and over decades have not produced the transformational results expected.”
Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo however tipped the Government’s flagship planting for Food and jobs as one with the potential to drive the transformation of the country’s agricultural sector if sustained.
He said, “The ongoing Planting for Food & Jobs program by the Ministry of Food & Agriculture has the potential to drive that transformation with private sector. According to the Ghana Statistical Service data, the agriculture sector has grown by 8.4% in 2017 – this is the highest growth recorded in 10 years. The momentum is now and all stakeholders must contribute to a transformation of the sector. ”
Extolling Yara Ghana Limited’s impact, Mr. Danquah explained that with Yara fertilizers and Yara crop nutrition solutions, Yara has been able to show on farmer demonstration fields ( on farmer’s own fields) around the country on different crops, some in collaboration with USAID Advance project, Ministry of food and Agriculture, Crop Research institute, etc, where results show that it is possible to substantially increase the national production and make the farmer more profitable without necessarily increasing the farmland areas.
“Yara fertilizers and crop nutrition solutions are indeed able to deliver high productivity and profitability for the farmer which is essential for the sustainability of the agriculture value chain partnerships, creating opportunities and business for other partners in the entire agriculture value chain such as Input suppliers, farmers, marketers, manufacturers, traders, consumers, etc.”
He further assured of Yara’s long term commitment to Ghana, and hinted of the firms commitment to consistently strengthening its operations in Ghana to be a hub to some West Africa countries”, he said.
Speaking on the theme, “Transforming Agribusiness in Northern Ghana: The future starts now”, Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo urged participants at the 8th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and Conference to use the event as an opportunity to incite a reawakening that will consequently culminate in the transformation of agriculture in the Northern region, build value chain partnerships that create value and growth in the sector.
He noted that even though the Northern Region has the potential to be the nation’s food-basket and even export to neighboring countries, Ghana still imports about USD2billion worth of food annually; a scenario he bemoaned.
“We cannot continue to fail Ghana, We cannot fail this region; the transformation is possible.” He proclaimed as he ended his speech.
About Pre-harvestt Conference
The Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibition is an annual event that brings together key players in agribusiness together to interact and create partnerships and link smallholder farmers directly to buyers ahead of harvest. The 2018 edition took place at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium with 3,122 participants in attendance. Exhibitors numbering 144 who are primarily into machinery and equipment, processing, packaging, inputs, transport, research institutions and regulatory bodies also took advantage of the event to improve the lot of their enterprises.
The three-day event was organised by Agrihouse Foundation in partnership with World Food Programme, the Canadian High Commission, USAID ADVANCE, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Regional Coordinating Council and the Northern Development Authority.
Other sponsors for the 8th Pre-harvest event included Yara Ghana, Ecobank, Mel Consulting, Kosmos Energy, Interplast Ghana, Dizengoff, Hatoum Trading, RMG, LK International and Dizengoff Ghana