Ghana adopts medium term plan to boost food production

Kwesi Ahwoi - Agric Minister

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, is collaborating with stakeholders to pursue a Medium-Term Agricultural Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) to address the challenges facing the sector.

METASIP, which predicates the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP) is consistent with the national vision defined by Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy II, Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, the sector Minister, who made this known in Accra on Tuesday during the “Meet the Press” series, said FASDEP aims at boosting food security and emergency preparedness, improved growth incomes and stability and increase competitiveness and enhanced integration into domestic and international markets.

He said METASIP is targeting an agricultural GDP growth of at least six per cent for the plan period, spanning 2010- 2013, with crop and livestock sub-sector growing at a projected six per cent, forest and logging and fisheries rising at five per cent, while the performance of the cocoa sector remains robust at more than eight per cent.

Mr Ahwoi called on farmers to move away from the traditional approach of farming to modern trends, to accelerate food production for local consumption and export.

He said modernised agriculture would culminate in the structurally transformation of the Ghanaian economy to improve food security, employment, income earning opportunities, accelerated growth and development.

The Agriculture Minister said food production had contributed immensely to the significant reduction of Ghana’s inflation to a single digit, hence the need for   farmers to adopt new methods of farming.

Mr Ahwoi said government is committed in achieving the “Better Ghana Agenda” and has therefore instituted pragmatic measures aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture, thriving agribusiness through research and technology development.

Some of the measures are the introduction of subsidised farm inputs, rehabilitation and construction of irrigation schemes, procurement of tractors and combine harvesters for farmers and building of storage facilities across major food production as well as revival of the school farming systems.

Mr Ahwoi noted that lack of good road infrastructure to some food production areas is a major challenge to the sector and gave the assurance that government would strive to reverse the situation.

He said the ministry would enhance institutional co-ordination to facilitate agricultural production and adopt sustainable land management and application of science and technology in food and agriculture development.

Mr Ahwoi advised Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of consuming locally grown foods saying: “Every community has its food delicacy and we (Ghana) need to maintain or regain our appetite for such foods to encourage their production in the country.”

He said there is glimmer of hope for the country’s rapid growth, if adequate human resource and managerial skills, proper natural resource management, market accessibility and adequate infrastructure in food producing areas are available.

Source: GNA

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