Mr Frederick Attakumah, the President of the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce (CGCC), has said that the Chamber will contribute to policy initiatives aimed at enhancing further growth and development of agribusiness in Ghana.
He said the Chamber believed that agriculture is fundamental to our very human existence, and that Ghana had most of the basic building blocks necessary for not only achieving food sufficiency but also becoming a major exporter of agro-produce.
Mr Attakumah made these remarks in his welcome address on the sideline of a breakfast forum on agribusiness in Accra.
The forum which was held under the theme: “Investing in Agribusiness”, highlighted the prospects and opportunities in agriculture, challenges as well policy frameworks within the agribusiness sector in Ghana.
Mr Attakumah said it was within this context that the Chamber applauds the Canadian Government’s support to the Government of Ghana’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative to the tune of C$ 125 million.
He said as a group they had no doubts this would significantly boosts efforts at modernising agriculture in Ghana.
Mr Attakumah said the agriculture sector was critical for achieving economic development, prosperity and food security in countries such as Ghana, however, there were a number of questions that needed to be addressed.
“Does our national policy framework provide farmers and agribusinesses with the right tools and support to enable them work to transition the sector from the current sector into large –scale, mechanized commercial enterprises,” he asked.
He again asked if we were synergistically pulling together the various policy initiatives such as ‘One- District One-Factory, One Village One Dam and Planting for Food and Jobs’ as Ghana seeks to achieve a quantum leap in the level of agriculture and agribusiness in the country.
He asked what should be the roadmap as we seek to maximize value addition to our agro-produce so as to create more jobs and significantly increase revenues.
Mr Attakumah said “as country, what do we need to do enhance attractiveness of the sector when it comes to investment, access to credit and youth employment, and what about access to land and our land tenure systems?”
Mr Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), said there is a lot more focus on agriculture now with regards to the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme.
He said it should not end there, thus, it should not just be government; there should be a major drive to get the private sector involved in agriculture as a business.
Mr Grant said one of the reasons that make agriculture unattractive to young people was that there were no role models in the sector, to inspire them.
He said the perceived risk involved and cost of financing were also among major challenges in the sector, therefore there is a need for various interventions that will de-risk the sector.