German trained Ghanaians to focus on agriculture

A group photograph of participants.

A group of Ghanaians who have received trained in Germany have decided to focus on the country’s agriculture sector.

The group, Ghanaian-German Alumni Network (GGAN) and German Trained Professionals at a one-day seminar in Kumasi early October took a critical look at the agriculture sector which plays a major role in Ghana’s economy.

Addressing the seminar, Dr. J. K. Addae, also a German trained scientist said a closer look at the agriculture sector shows that it is growing at “two speeds”.

He said the export of cocoa and horticulture is flourishing, but food crop production remains dominated by subsistence farming.

Dr. Addae therefore encouraged the professionals who have been trained in agriculture to impact their knowledge and expertise in making agriculture attractive to the youth of Ghana. This, he said “will help curb unemployment and alleviate poverty.”

He said postharvest losses occur during processes such as, harvesting, threshing and shelling, drying, storage, processing, transportation and marketing.

According to Dr. Addae improvement of postharvest and storage conditions will have a positive impact on Ghana’s food security.

Professor S.G.K. Adiku who spoke on the topic “Agriculture as a sustainable business in Ghana: Challenges and remedies” observed that in the past most people considered agriculture as a “way of life” and not as a “business venture”. “In this 21st century we have to shift to view agriculture as a business with emphasis on quality, cost of production and timely delivery of the produce. These are important aspects of agribusiness,” he said.

According to him, to run agriculture as business, skills training, knowledge of project planning and implementation are essential. He also stressed the need for knowledge in risk assessment and management, objective setting, tasks, time frames, resource allocation, target clientele and demand estimation.

Commenting on the importance of agric to African economies, Prof. Obeng Ofori said agriculture provides livelihood to more than half of Africans and dominates in economic development; but but still remains largely traditional.

According to him, even though grains constitute the bulk of food production on the continent, paradoxically, food insecurity is widespread and one-third of the population is malnourished.

He therefore suggested that the reduction of post-harvest grain losses could contribute to the achievement of food security.

Over 50 participants including the general public were present at the seminar.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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