Report finds need for long-term investment in local input manufacturing industry for PFJ

A report on the country’s Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) has recommended a long-term investment in establishing a local input manufacturing industry to structurally transform the agriculture sector.

The report stated that the local manufacturing of inputs, especially fertilizers, was important to offset the unintended consequences of import uncertainties on the availability and affordability of inputs for farmers.  

“Investment priorities should be on sustainable intensification methods that are less dependent on imported inputs,” the report stated.  

The recommendation was made at a validation and dissemination workshop of a report on PFJ and One District, One Industry (1D1F) in the Southern Belt of Ghana.  

The report was commissioned by the Third Network-Africa through desk review in 2021, a reconnaissance study in August 2022, and a three-phased primary data collection in May to July, 2023 as a basis for policy advocacy.  

The primary data collection took place in Gomoa East, West, and Central in the Central region.  

The study evaluated the overall PFJ intervention as implemented in these districts and focused on the interventions in maize and sweet potato farming.  

The report presented by Dr Faustina Obeng, Lead Reseracher for the study, called for an effective and sustainable output market to make the gains in improved productivity reflect in the availability of food for the home markets.  

“Effective aggregation and distribution modalities are needed to connect areas of high production to areas of low production but high demand,” the report said.  

The report also called for a mass input subsidy programme with a selectively credible scheme to ensure the sustainability and equitability of the initiative.  

The findings of the report, among others, revealed that the PFJ intervention subsidized an allocated quantity of inputs to be distributed to farmers and the establishment of a mass, partially credible scheme to make inputs available to farmers.  

Touching on the linkages between the PFJ and the 1D1F initiatives, Dr Obeng said the linkages between agriculture and manufacturing did not automatically translate to actual linkages on the ground without concrete plans of action.

The report recommended that intentionality was key to articulating linkages between agriculture and manufacturing for structural economic transformation.  

“Agro-processing should focus on crops for which industry was needed to process surplus produce or crops for which processing was needed to make it easily consumable, the report said.  

The government launched the PFJ and the 1D1F initiatives in 2017 to boost the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, respectively, and foster their transformative potential for the economy.  

The PFJ aimed to expand and enhance agricultural and manufacturing production across the country to strengthen domestic food production and create jobs.  

The 1D1F aimed at providing a fast-track mechanism for reviving and establishing the domestic manufacturing industry and capacity.  

Dr Yaw Graham, Coordinator, TWN Africa, said the report was to help stakeholders contribute to the structural economic transformation and stop the dependence on raw agricultural products.  

He said it was imperative for the country to optimize what we produce and stabilize the imported goods, as well as evaluate the implementation of the two initiatives and address challenges associated with them.  

Source: GNA  

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