By Joyce Bedeley:
Vice chairperson of the Association of Ghana Industries, Madam Fatima Mohammed has reiterated the fact that investing in Agricultural growth in Ghana is paramount to the country’s food security and development. This according to her stems from the widely held belief that a nation that cannot feed itself will always be held hostage to nations that feed it.
Madam Fatima said these during her speech at the launch of the 8th National Food and Agric Show at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel under the theme, ‘Creating Jobs in Agriculture ….Northern Region in Focus.’ According to her, the Agricultural sector in Africa is expected to increase its production to 2 billion by the year 2050, indicating that Africa and Ghana in particular need to double up in production. This according to her is to enable it meet its future needs and the focus needs to be on other crops and not only on cocoa, especially as the country moves towards the implementation of the ‘one district, one factory’ policy.
‘Growth in agriculture is very important towards the realization of the president’s dream of the ‘planting for foods and Jobs’ and ‘one district, one factory’ policies.
She also wondered why a continent like Africa should always have its people hungry.
‘Africa is mostly hungry and it is the most food insecure continent and the situation is getting worse. The fact is that there are now more people living with concept hunger than the promises made. Developmental goals need to be moved from historically perceptive to a better change.’ Madam Fatima added.
She also bemoaned the fact that the country hasn’t made much strides from the backyard farming concept while it appears to be retrogressing insteadily.
‘Historically, farming is about keeping chickens and cows in the back yards for milk and meat and instead of moving forward we are rather moving backwards and that has contributed to the spread of other diseases like cancer which is now noted as the rich man sickness. Change is needed and the change needed very fast and the focus of agric from the Government has come at the right time,’ she observed.
The Vice chairperson of the Association of Ghana Industries said Ghana’s trade balance continues to widen up in the massive imports. For instance the import of rice is close to 600,000 metric tonnes against our own production which is 150,000 metric tonnes.
According to her, 12,000 metric tonnes of tomato paste is also imported while our tomatoes rot day in and out because much of the nation’s attention is on cocoa. She therefore called for diversity in Ghana’s agric sector since the sector is under performing due to lack of investment in the sector, technology and resource development and the sustainable growth of biological and physical development.