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Ghana becomes first yam-producing nation to launch national strategy

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Yams_2Ghana today October 8, 2013 launched a national strategy for the development of the country’s yam industry.

Ghana has now become the first yam-producing nation to rollout such a national strategy for the yam industry.

The Ghana Yam Strategy puts yam in the spotlight as a key crop to help the country fight poverty, enhance food security, and improve the livelihoods and income of women and men engaged in the yam sector.

“The strategy envisions making Ghana the leading source of premium quality yam products with global penetration and contributing to an improved Ghanaian economy and livelihoods,” Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan said at the inauguration of the strategy in Accra.

According to the Minister, one of the objectives of the strategy is to develop commercially-driven research and development as well as capacity building in the yam value chain.

Mr Anthony Sikpa will chair the Ghana Yam Strategy Committee and he says “with this strategy not only will yam be given attention, but it will also provide opportunities for all stakeholders in the yam sector.”

Officials say the Ghana Yam Strategy is a bottom-up policy process that started in 2012.

It is said to be a private sector-led road map championed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture with the support of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection.

The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) also provided technical support and process facilitation.

IITA Director for Western Africa, Dr Robert Asiedu commended Ghana for taking the lead in developing a strategy for the tuber crop.

“We also encourage other countries to emulate Ghana, by developing similar strategies that give clear direction on how to make the crop work for the poor and improve their economies,” Dr Asiedu said in a statement copied to ghanabusinessnews.com.

Ghana’s yam strategy launch follows a global conference on yam which was held in Accra on October 3-6.

By Ekow Quandzie

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