Finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta has underscored government commitment to transformative change in the agricultural sector through deliberate investments.
Speaking at the National Agricultural Festival – ‘Agrifest 2023’, a five-day agriculture festival to herald this year’s National Farmers Day – Mr. Ofori-Atta emphasised that targeted investments are a key component of government’s broader agenda for economic rejuvenation.
“Deliberate investments in agriculture will be the cornerstone of our efforts to transform the sector,” he stated, adding: “We recognise the pivotal role agriculture plays in our economy, and by being intentional in channeling resources we aim to bring about lasting positive change”.
The finance minister pointed to policies including Planting for Food and Jobs Phase II, as pivotal tools in government’s arsenal to provide substantial support to farmers. He expressed confidence that these measures will significantly boost local productive capacity, reduce dependence on imports and alleviate pressure on the local currency. “Through policies like Planting for Food and Jobs Phase II, we aim to provide the needed support for farmers; empowering them to increase their yields and contribute to our vision of food self-sufficiency.”
The event is being held within the Ministries enclave in Accra, and is aimed at showcasing various agricultural products, services and equipment.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Bryan Acheampong, and Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson, jointly cut the ribbon to open the festival. Mr. Ofori-Atta joined Dr. Acheampong to tour the exhibition stands and displays.
In all, 145 companies and organisations are participating in the festival. Displays include plant seedlings, farm produce such as yam, tomatoes, maize, local rice, plantain, banana, livestock, cocoa products and assorted plants, as well as tractors, weeding and irrigation equipment.
Government has allocated GHȼ1billion to the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) as part of implementing the second phase of Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ 2.0).
This is in line with efforts to implement the Economic Enclaves Project (EEP) – aimed at improving the country’s food security while reducing rising food import bills. It also seeks to address youth unemployment. This funding will be dedicated to providing critical infrastructure, including irrigation and canals, as well as clearing and developing land for private sector actors in the EEP.
Asian African Consortium (AAC) revolutionizes rice sub-sector
Commending, the Asian African Consortium (AAC) at Agrifest, Mr. Ofori Atta praised the company’s efforts in transforming Ghana’s rice sub-sector. AAC provides crucial technical and machinery support to smallholder farmers, addressing financial constraints.
Adelaide Siaw Agyepong, CEO of AAC, underscores the significance of their machinery in pre-farming activities, emphasizing its role in land development, crop enhancement, and irrigation.
The equipment, part of a collaboration with the Yama group of companies, aims to make Ghana’s agricultural sector competitive and sustainable.