By: Edzorna Francis Mensah
The Minister for Food and Agriculture has called on Ghanaians to continue to celebrate and reward Farmers with rising farm productivity and incomes as he recognized that the impressive performance of the agricultural sector is largely due to sacrifices and the tireless efforts of “our heroic Farmers”.
In a statement to Parliament on Wednesday 30th November 2022 ahead of the grand durbar and awards ceremony to be held at the Koforidua Jubilee Park on Friday 2nd December, 2022, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said preparations are feverishly underway to ensure a memorable and successful occasion following the official launch of the celebration on Friday 16th September, 2022 and Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo will deliver the address.
Speaking on the theme “Accelerating Agricultural Development Through Value Addition” the Minister mentioned that, the theme is aligned with the “government’s vision of modernizing and transforming agriculture, relevant objectives of the President’s Coordinated Programme of Socio-economic Development Policies, and the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goals one(1) and two (2) which advocate the eradication of extreme Poverty in all forms and Zero Hunger respectively”.
“The theme also highlights the government’s recognition and commitment to the sustainable development and transformation of Ghana’s agriculture as well as signifying the government’s appreciation of the need to fully harness the potential of our agriculture”, he added.
According to him, the strategic intervention and the success of the Planting for Food and Jobs(PFI) campaign, speaks clearly to the government’s relentless efforts of systematically addressing the long-standing problems of Ghana’s agriculture.
He adds, since 2017, “massive investments have been made by the government in the various subsectors of agriculture resulting in significant achievements. Notable impacts are visible in the food crops subsector, where farmers continue to benefit from subsidized inputs programmes and millions of seedlings of six selected tree crops distributed free of charge to farmers throughout the country as part of the diversification agenda of the Government”.
“The Horticultural subsector now has three new Greenhouse centres located at Dawhenya, Bodwiase and Akomadan in the Greater Accra, Central and Ashanti Regions respectively. Others include the construction and rehabilitation of major irrigation schemes, feeder roads and 80(1000mt tons capacity) warehouses constructed throughout the country. Mr. Speaker, the positive outcomes of these activities are reflected in the macro-economic statistics”, The Minister added.
He further added that, “in 2019 the agriculture sector grew by 4.7% followed by 7.4% in 2020 and a record 8.4% in 2021. With the excellent rains this year we expect the substantial growth performance of recent years to be repeated this year 2022. The strong growth in recent years has increased the share of the agriculture sector in Ghana’s GDP from 18% in 2016 to 22% by 2021.
These impressive results were posted by the sector against all odds when multiple external shocks and unfavorable external global conditions had impacted virtually every economy including Ghana. Supply chains had been badly disrupted resulting in acute shortage in critical inputs like fertilizers, the Animal sector which had been badly hit by diseases such as swine flu and the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, while farmlands were also being destroyed by galamsey activities”.