Ghana’s oil sector likely to weaken agric growth – GIMPA Lecturer
Dr Joe Taabazuing, Senior Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), has indicated that Ghana’s fast growing oil and gas sector was likely to weaken the agricultural area if systematic sustainable steps were not taken.
He said, the nation therefore has to be proactive in transforming players in the agribusiness to enable them invest more and to produce substantially to support national growth.
Dr Taabazuing spoke to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at the closing session of an agribusiness entrepreneurship training in Accra on Friday.
The GIMPA and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) organised the training to strengthen skills and competencies of Ghanaian agribusiness professionals.
The senior lecturer said one characteristic of oil producing nations in the middle income bracket, was the potential to neglect the agricultural sector.
He observed that for sustainable growth and development, government needed to pay serious attention to the agricultural sector to guarantee food security, reduce poverty and create more jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
Dr Taabazuing noted that the basic problem in agribusiness was that “people do not package information well and lack the capacity to utilize resources”, hence the rationale underpinning the training to expose participants to ample knowledge and skills in the field.
He was convinced the training had exposed participants to techniques in agribusiness, particularly development of bankable proposals for effective financial sourcing.
Dr Raj Chhikara of IFPRI who is also the Course Coordinator said the focus of the training was to develop local content-based teaching training materials based on the Ghanaian situation. This, he said, would ensure transfer of relevant skills and knowledge to the local people and to guarantee sustainability of the programme.
He added that the training was to help the GIMPA to learn case-based teaching and to polish local skills for the training of trainers in agribusiness techniques.
According to Dr Chhikara, a solid agribusiness is a driving force to push Ghana’s economy to a higher level.
With the help from the University of Ghana, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, the four-week programme used conventional learning techniques for principles of good business practice and case studies as problem-solving tools.
The target participants were middle level personnel engaged in managing the food, feed, and agriculture system in the private sector, especially from companies seeking to make new or upgrade investments as well as some from the public sector.
Actually like United Nations reported in 2011, agro-ecology is the best way to develop African agriculture without much investment and by protecting people and the environment. The Ghanaian agricultors do not need to learn how to use pesticides and herbicides which would drive them to get cancer like this is the case of American and European agricultors after 30 years of use, but how to use their plant and environment to feed the soil, protect their crops and improve their production.