The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has received an excellence award for promoting food security and transforming the agribusiness sector in Ghana and Africa.
The award was conferred on AGRA by the Agribusiness Chamber, Ghana, at the 2nd Ghana Agribusiness Excellence and Leadership Awards held in Accra. The award was instituted two years ago by the Agribusiness Chamber to promote private sector participation and investment in the agribusiness sector.
Presenting the award, the Co-Board Chairman of the Agribusiness Chamber and Executive Director of Agri-Impact Consult, Mr. Daniel Acquaye said: “The award is in recognition of the interventions and impact made by AGRA in shaping agricultural policy, and for bringing together smallholder farmers, agribusiness firms, investors and researchers to work as a team in the agricultural value chain. This has resulted in significant increases in the production of maize, rice, soya beans and cassava in Ghana”.
Mr. Acquaye commended AGRA for helping to shape and support the implementation of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme. He added: “We know the role AGRA has played in supporting the Crop Research Institute to come up with improved planting materials for farmers, and also the Rice Consortium in promoting the production and consumption of local rice – resulting in the rice boom of 2019”.
The West Africa Regional Head of AGRA, Mr. Forster Boateng, received the award on behalf of his organisation. He noted that AGRA will continue to be an interface between government and other stakeholders in an effort to revolutionise agriculture in West Africa. Apart from supporting smallholder farmers with technology and improved seeds, AGRA works with government to prioritise and allocate resources to agriculture to create the enabling environment needed for the private sector to invest.
Mr. Boateng said: “Government is responsible for driving its own agricultural transformation agenda. Development Partners, Private Sector and Non-State actors are there to provide support to government. For instance, the AU-CADAP requires every government to allocate about 10% of its annual expenditure toward agriculture. Each government in Africa is supposed to achieve 6% growth on-year basis.
“AGRA believes strongly that Africa’s agriculture can be transformed. This will not be achieved by only getting technology into the hands of smallholder farmers. It needs an integrated approach that brings all partners together with government in the driving seat to drive its own agenda,” he added.
“The award is both a challenge and a motivation for AGRA to do more in ensuring food security. We don’t have enough money to spend in agriculture, but the catalytic nature of our investment is what’s yielding all these results,” Mr. Boateng concluded.