… targets 1.2million smallholder farmers by 2030
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has launched a five-year Ghana strategy, aimed at catalysing an inclusive transformation of the country’s agriculture and food system.
The new strategy seeks to create an enabling environment to enhance the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in agro-processing value addition and strengthen the resilience of raw material supply chains.
Planned interventions in the strategy aim to bridge the gap between production and post-harvest management – agro-processing, value addition, and marketing – which is aligned with the country’s agricultural transformation and the requisites for maintaining the momentum.
By growing a competitive agro-processing industry in the country, the strategy will drive productivity and resilience of farmers, while supporting livelihoods. It will also enhance youth and women’s inclusiveness by empowering and involving them in the agricultural transformation.
Priority value chains in the strategy targets key crops such as maize, rice, cassava, soybean, cowpea, groundnuts and vegetable.
Speaking at the launch in Accra, country manager for Ghana-AGRA Juliette Lampoh-Agroh, noted that the country must embark on a systemic transformation that builds a more resilient and inclusive food system.
She reinforces that it is time for: “A systemic transformation that ensures that high quality, safe nutritious affordable and sustainably produced food is available to Ghanaians.
“Also, a system that ensures that productive smallholders are adequately integrated into value chains to attract commensurate value and thus incentivised to adopt productivity enhancement technologies. In addition, a system that places agriculture squarely at the fulcrum of Ghana’s much needed inclusive economic transformation”.
Vice president, strategic partnership & chief of party at Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Innovation in Africa (PIATA) – AGRA, Venessa Adams also underscored the importance of investing in agriculture which will boost private sector growth.
She added that her outfit is poised to see growth in the agricultural sector which is a key backbone for the economy, hence the new strategy and their pragmatic approach.
By 2030, AGRA aims to support 1.2 million farmers in Ghana to shift from subsistence to market-oriented and diversified farming systems, contributing to food security.
For his part, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong in a statement noted that “The sector will greatly benefit from the efforts to link production and markets while integrating it with other sectors.”
“This support will boost the various initiatives that the government is undertaking to address emerging issues such as the after-effects of the pandemic and the climate crisis,” he stated.
Deputy minister of local government and rural development, Augustine Collins Ntim, has commended AGRA for the initiative stressing its importance as the country sought to leverage agriculture to revamp rural economies and development.
Having analysed the strategy, he believes that when successfully implemented it will aid the country’ self-food sufficiency effort. He, therefore, called for adequate collaboration between the key stakeholders for the fruition of the strategy.
Since 2007, AGRA has invested US$60 million towards strengthening core agricultural systems in Ghana. The initiatives, which were implemented alongside public and private partners, benefited two million smallholders.
Ghana’s economy is dependent on the agriculture sector. This has led the government to implement structured policies and investment plans, that have accelerated the sector’s growth from 2.3 percent in 2015 to 7 percent in 2020. According to the 2022 State of Food and Nutrition Report, Ghana is one of the most food-secure countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but about 3.6 million people are food insecure, with only about 35 percent of the population able to afford a healthy diet.