Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhasan, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of crops, has called on non-state actors to support government efforts to strengthen the agricultural value chain.
The agricultural value chain which entails a wide-range of goods and services necessary for moving farm products from production centres to the final consumers, is faced with many challenges including inadequate technology, finance, functional policies and packaging.
Dr Alhassan called for global sensitisation in the African agriculture value chain to be able to connect agriculture development with economic growth and launch a comprehensive financial investment to improve infrastructure.
The Deputy Minister said this at a two-day Ghana Non-State Actors’ (NSA) sensitisation workshop organised by Africa Lead, USAID, Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), Feed the Future and coalition of NSA.
“We have to get quality products as well as values of production from the African farmer to be able to compete internationally, it is time we match agricultural growth with economic growth to sustain our economies,” Dr Alhassan said.
He said Africa ought to break through the chain of global market competition by improving quality, raising quantity and boosting consumer demand in order to deal with the lingering poverty, hunger, malnourishment and climate change.
He said there was the need to create a thriving agriculture business environment to eliminate hunger in Africa, as the population in the continent is expected to grow exponentially to nine billion by 2050.
Dr Alhassan urged non-state actors to work closely with development partners, engage stakeholders in the private sector and support governments to come out with the relevant policies to improve the agriculture value chain.
Mr Kop’ep Dabugat, Coordinator of the coalition of the non-state actors and CAADP, said a detailed action plan would be developed to create an avenue for technical and financial partners to support and help define the role of the coalition.
He told the Ghana News Agency that non-state actors lacked the mechanisms and systems for constructive dialogue and the required resources to effectively engage governments in the agricultural sector.
Mr Brian Conklin, Deputy Director of USAID, called for a 20 per cent decrease in poverty, and 23 per cent in malnourished children adding that behavioural change is a key to Ghana’s transformation.
He said African governments have not created the space over the years for dialogue to shape policies and come out with programmes to improve the agriculture value chain.