The role of agriculture in accelerating the economic progress and development of any country cannot be underestimated.
In Ghana, the agricultural sector has suffered many setbacks.
Successive governments have not been able to do much to transform the sector from its present state to one which produces more yield and high income for farmers and the country as a whole.
As part of efforts to improve the sector in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has outlined a number of interventions to boost the growth of the sector should its mandate be extended on December 7, 2020.
The NPP in its 2020 manifesto captured a number of benefits stakeholders within the country’s agricultural sector would enjoy should it win the upcoming polls.
Below are a few promises for the agric sector in the NPP manifesto:
• Modernising agriculture along the entire value chain, including expanding the Agricultural Mechanisation Centres
• Support for farmers through increased supply of inputs, enhanced involvement of farm extension officers to work with farmers and breeders, increased disease control, improved warehousing and post-harvest logistics, and tighter linkages with industry mainly through 1D1F.
• Diversification of export-oriented, large scale agricultural enterprises in cocoa, palm oil, legumes, cereals, rice and horticulture, poultry and meat for regional markets.
• Large-scale private sector investment in processing, packaging and export of agricultural produce.
• Promotion of import substitution, with special focus on rice, sugar and poultry by scaling up supply of improved seeds and fertilisers to farmers, promoting consumption of locally produced rice, sugar and poultry, supporting the private sector under the Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) policy with subsidised day-old chicks, feed, and vaccines and supporting soya bean production for the production of poultry feed
• Enhancement of small ruminant production with supply of improved breeds of sheep and goats
• The successful implementation of the Greenhouse Village concept, focusing especially on the youth
• Activities under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) with the rapid growth of the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority (GTCDA)
• The development of the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam, and
• Access to finance through subscription to the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing Scheme for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) programme to finance and de-risk private sector investments in farming and other agricultural value-chain activities.