Investors asked to promote local participation
Mr Stephen Kumadoh, Principal Valuer, Land Commission, has called on investors to design innovative business models that promote local participation in economic activities in areas they acquire lands.
He also recommended that before investors acquire land from its owners, they should engage in inter-generational equity, transparency, mutual benefit for all and respect the rights of land users and other stakeholders.
Mr Kumadoh made the call during the opening of the 3rd Commercial Farm Summit on the theme: “Building local markets, improving farm productivity and increase return on investment” in Accra on Tuesday.
The summit is to share insight on the opportunities and challenges in agriculture investment in emerging Africa.
The event organised by the Centre for Management Technology in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Private Enterprise Foundation is also to explore and understand vital market trends that would affect businesses worldwide.
He said currently there was lack of comprehensive data as far as customary land ownership was concern.
He said investors acquiring lands from traditional authorities without the approval from the Lands Commission should stop since it was not a good practice.
Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Food and Agriculture, speaking on the topic “Agricultural Investment Opportunities in Ghana” said Government had provided the policy and investment framework to encourage robust investment from private sector partners in the agriculture sector.
He said government recently created an Agribusiness Division to collaborate with development partners and Agribusiness enterprises to support the commercialization of agricultural activities along the value chains.
“Promotion and development of agribusiness will contribute to the national and also the agricultural sector policy objectives of increased incomes and poverty reduction,” he noted.
He said Public Private Partnerships were to complement Government to tackle the binding infrastructure constraints that hampered agriculture productivity and employment generation.
Mr Humado said Ghana in collaboration with the World Bank, and USAID had designed the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP), which was now ready to support the identification and development of private commercial agriculture investment opportunities.
He said the World Bank was providing a credit facility of US$100 million and the USAID a grant of $45 million.
The project activities include support for public-private infrastructure partnerships, complementary public investments, and the technical assistance required to support investment, especially in the Accra Plains in the south of Ghana and in the SADA area in Northern Ghana.
“GCAP will also support the development of model lease agreements to assist interested investors to more effectively negotiate leases with local communities and more clearly articulate the land rights associated with a lease,” he added.