Group calls for government-private collaboration for food security

Mr Nabil Moukarzel, President of Food and Beverages Association of Ghana (FABAG), on Thursday, called for a closer collaboration between government and his outfit, in rice and beverage issues, to ensure food security in the country.

“Most of us engaged in imports and exports of food into the country know the challenges and how to overcome them, and I believe that if government collaborates with us, the country will stand the chance of becoming the food basket of the West African sub-region.”

These were contained in a press statement, signed by the President and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra.

The FABAG president said apart from having a high stake in the food security of the country, the private sector was also offering job opportunities to many Ghanaians and therefore deserved recognition in the country’s food security issues.

He appealed to the Minister and Officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to constantly liaise with the association, to find lasting solutions to some agricultural challenges confronting farmers, importers and the government.

Mr Moukarzel mentioned support to farmers, harvesting, packaging and marketing as some of the areas government could partner the association, to achieve significant improvement in cereals and fruit production in the country.

“I believe that if there is sufficient collaboration, smuggling of rice and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, currently going on in some parts of the sub- region, will end as surveillance and vigilance will put pressure on the perpetrators.”

The FABAG president also mentioned the awarding of tax concessions for manufacturing and food industries in the country as another area that could spur the private sector on to provide better services and ensure food security.

He said the Association apart from supporting farming companies and individuals, was also marketing and providing ready markets to the country’s raw materials, adding that, “this is the more reason why we think that the collaboration between us and government can yield ample dividends in the coming months.”

“Government officials, especially those with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, normally relate with farmers, but we as dealers in food products, get even more closer to the farmers sometimes and therefore a collaboration between us can change so many things.

Source: GNA

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