Agriculture sector’s contribution of 20.7 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 44.7 per cent to the total employment rate makes it a major contributor to the country’s economy. Agriculture sector’s contribution of 20.7 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 44.7 per cent to the total employment rate makes it a major contributor to the country’s economy.
The Head of the Agribusiness Unit at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Mr Jeremy Agyemang, has stated that the agriculture sector’s contribution of 20.7 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 44.7 per cent to the total employment rate makes it a major contributor to the country’s economy.
Mr Agyemang was speaking at the launch of a programme called Grows-Hort Incubator, a horticultural
agribusiness event organised in Accra last Thursday purposely to entice young people into the sector.
He said under the Ministry of Agriculture’s Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II) and its Investment Plan (METASIP II), there were strategies for an approach that looked at farming as a business and embraced value chain approach as a vehicle for developing agribusiness in a holistic manner.
“Recognising the important role of the agriculture sector, the government is putting together a major programme called Planting for Foods and Jobs aimed at enhancing productivity and to reduce importation of basic food commodities, including rice and soya,” he said.
He said the programme was also targeted at fashioning ways that could lead to increases in the supply of raw materials for the livestock sub-sector.
According to him, the key areas for intervention included improved extension services, improved access to seed and fertiliser and marketing, as well as creating an effective E-agriculture platform.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Grows-Hort Incubator, Mr Moses Baffour Awuah, said the horticultural agribusiness programme was supported by the African Youth Network for Agricultural Transformation (AYNAT) and had the focus of uplifting and supporting small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) engaged in the fruits and vegetable production value chain in the country.
“The youth of today seem not to have interest in agriculture because they think it is all about getting your hands dirty but it is not so, there are a lot of value-chain processes in the business,” he said.
He said there were other factors to be considered in agribusiness, including packaging of farm produce, selling of seedlings and farm tools related to the field of agriculture.
He said with little effort, an investor in agribusiness could turn the vocation into a lucrative venture.
Mr Awuah advised the first batch of incubator-trainees made up of 30 young people to take their lessons seriously and seek a lot from their mentors.
“Take everything here seriously, since whatever you want will be at your disposal. All you have to do is to learn and achieve your purpose for coming here. Make it worthwhile that you were selected to become a participant,” he said.
Source: Graphic online.com