A two-day workshop on Business Opportunities in the” Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP)”, was on Tuesday opened in Accra.
It was organized by the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) for the private sector, and sponsored by Konrad Adeneuer Stiftung.
Nana Osei Bonsu, Director General of PEF, said although the agricultural sector was one of the most important in the economy, the private sector was not exploring the sector enough.
He said the sector provided 60 percent employment and yet, 45 percent of agricultural produce went to post-harvest waste.
Nana Bonsu said it was unfortunate that in spite of this waste, the country imported a lot of food stuffs to the detriment of local agricultural produce.
He said contrary to what many thought, the agricultural sector had a lot of opportunities for investment which when explored, could enhance greatly upon the prospects of the sector.
Nana Bonsu urged participants at the workshop to take advantage of the opportunities METASIP had to offer, and help boost the agricultural sector of the economy.
A representative from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mrs Lena Otoo, said Ghana was so agrarian that it was almost impossible to transform the economy, without paying enough attention to the agricultural sector.
She said METASIP basically aimed at enhancing the agricultural sector by applying science and technology, adding that because it was public-private sector collaboration, the ministry had set up an Agri Busines unit, to clearly outline the responsibilities of both government and the private sector in the collaboration.
Mrs Otoo said the government would ensure that besides aiming at maximizing profits and output, social responsibility would also be a core value of the collaboration.
Mr. John Nkum, a consultant for METASIP, said the lack of progress within a particular sector, was sometimes due to people doing business in an individualistic manner and not liaising with each other.
He said without doing this, it was sometimes difficult to know the trends of demand and supply which made business a lot more difficult than necessary.
The Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan(METASIP), 2011-2015, has been developed, using a largely participatory process, and based on Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy(FASDEP) II objectives.
It has a target for agriculture sector GDP growth of at least 6 percent annually, and government expenditure allocation of at least ten percent of the national budget within the plan period.
The targets are in conformity with agricultural performance targets of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda, the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy, and the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program of NEPAD.
METASIP is expected to contribute significantly to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations.