Finance manager of Farm Management Services Limited (FMSL,) Mr. Julius Williams Ayerh Afedi has described as a worrying development, the way and manner in which estate developers have taken over farm lands in the country.
Mr. Afedi who described the development as “very worrying” said the situation must be tackled with due diligence to protect the rest of the country’s land for farming.
Mr. Afedi speaking on Rite FM`s Agric Forum noted that a country that jokes with its agriculture will soon be the zone for imports as a result of estate developers taking over fertile lands meant for farming purposes which will be used for purposes of building constructions.
According to him, the country risks suffering some economic consequences if its imports surpass its productions
“Once the country starts to import more than what it produces to feed her growing population, it will have a negative impact on the economy which will later affect the livelihood of the people,” he warned.
Mr. Afedi therefore urged the country to produce more and export the left over to other countries to boost the economy.
He however said this will not see the light of day if estate developers are allowed to take over the fertile lands which are conducive for farming activities, adding that “Ghana must not spend huge sums of money on importing food into the country.”
The FMSL finance manager also opined that the country will have no option than to accept the controversial, Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) foods which most Ghanaians are against, into the country if the issue of estate developers is not addressed.
He also urged for the growing of “food crops that consumers will feel comfortable consuming without thinking about any possible negative effects on them.”
“The stakeholders and the authorities involved must see estate development as a threat to the agricultural sector and take the necessary steps to address the menace,” he charged.
Ghana faces a dilemma in reviving its struggling agricultural sector and simultaneously enhancing the growth of the buoyant real-estate industry.
While the real-estate sector expands into a booming economic activity in urban and peri-urban communities, agriculture is struggling to maintain its stake.
This has brought real-estate developers into direct and often fierce competition with farmers for fertile lands.
In what analysts have warned could see tensions boil over, buoyed by the rising prices of houses, real estate developers have taken over several fertile lands meant for farming activities.
An agriculture consultant, Shakespeare Dzokoto, projected Ghana stood the risk of experiencing widespread hunger earlier than 2050 if present circumstances that contributed to the threats to agriculture prevailed.
By: Austin Ofori Addo/ritefmonline.org/austinofori.addo@gmail .com