The Czech Republic is currently working on new investment drive to venture into the Ghana’s agricultural sector with its technical expertise.
The move by the European country that ranks among the top ten in animal genetics is expected to increase Ghana’s agricultural production and help the country realise its sector’s full economic potentials.
The Minister for Agric for the Czech Republic, Marian Jurecka, is in Ghana with a 17-member business delegation to meet Ghana’s Agriculture Minister to deliberate possible ways of identifying viable opportunities available in the sector.
The delegation, after meeting with President Nana Akufo-Addo at Flagstaff House to solicit his support, held a forum in Accra which was attended by top industry players including Agronomists, farmers, distributors, government officials and agricultural research scientists.
The Czech Republic is interested in the delivery of agricultural machinery — particularly its traditional big and small Zetor Tractors for soil preparation and tillage.
In the area of food processing, they have advanced technology for fruit distilleries, wine making, food packaging and sugar manufacturing.
Apart from the country’s high expertise in genetically modified animal and crops production, they are also the world one beer producers.
Speaking during the forum Ghana’s Agric Minister, Dr. Osei Afriyie Akoto, said the delegation’s visit is timely and historically significant since the Czech Republic has been the first European country to come to Ghana with this mission under the leadership of President Akufo Addo.
He said more than 95 percent of agricultural production in the country is low by any world standard because the support which government is supposed to give to farmers has not been coming.
He observed that the situation has compelled many Ghanaian farmers to operate at very low productivity levels.
He noted that the government’s transformational strategy is to focus attention on small holder farmers by supplying them with improved seed, fertiliser, hand held machinery so that their productivity will be doubled.
Dr. Osei Akoto believes that the visit has a historical importance of public policy in Ghana especially with regards to the government new agricultural policy, ‘Planting For Food and Jobs’, which will start in September.
“I hope your visit will help consolidate the conclusion of a poultry project initiated by a Ghanaian living in the Czech Republic which I think will compliment the President’s transformational agenda,’ he said.
In a presentation, an official of the Ministry of Agric, Angela Dannson, said the Ghanaian agricultural sector is made up of four key sub sectors such as Crops, Livestock, Forestry and Logging and Fishing.
According to her, the Crops subsector is the largest which is accounts for about 74% of the sector’s contribution to GDP Livestock; Forestry & Logging; and Fisheries sub-sectors accounts for 9%; 10%; and 6%, respectively of GDP.
She said the low use of improved technology by farmers has contributed to low yields, while potential processing of agricultural produce is also on a limited scale with post harvest management and infrastructure still a challenge.