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The Vice President of Ghana, H.E John Dramani Mahama has hinted that Ghana needs an agricultural revolution based on productivity growth and appropriate technology, in order to create jobs and also raise almost a million more Ghanaians out of poverty by 2015.
Mr. Mahama made this known in a speech read for him by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Mike Hammah at the opening of Agricultural Trade Fair (AGRIFA) at the International Trade Fair, La, in Accra, over the weekend.
He assured the farmers that “the government is committed to ensuring that future agricultural research and policies would be targeted at developing rural and agricultural institutions as a move to respond adequately to new technologies and improvements in agricultural production, processing and distribution.
AGRIFA, which is underway, is an initiative designed by the Agricultural Trade and Investment Promotion Center, with the aim of promoting and marketing local agricultural produce for both the domestic and the international markets.
The maiden AGRIFA, which attracted over 300 exhibitors from Ghana and abroad, 43 and 10 delegations from Burkina Faso and Nigeria respectively, is under the theme-‘Promoting Local Agricultural Produce with Appropriate Technology: Key to Ghana’s Socio-Economic Development’.
Organisers of the fair, Agricultural Trade and Investment Promotion Centre, in collaboration with the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana [NFFAWAG], the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Ghana Export Promotion Council, Agrotropics Limited and Food and Drugs Board (FDB) say they have put all the necessary mechanisms in place, to ensure that this year’s event becomes very successful and a sustainable one.
The fair, starting from 14th to 22nd October, 2011, is being sponsored by Star Assurance, Ghana Life Company Ltd, Stanbic Bank, PHC Motors, AllTime Capital, Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF), and Ndagro, a leading Switzerland fertilizer firm.
The fair will run concurrently with seminars relating to each agricultural subsector, such as Agricultural Finance & Insurance, Agricultural mechanization & irrigation Seminar, Post Harvest Management, Value chain and export, Fisheries, Aqua Culture. Poultry and Livestock, Food Bazaar, Farmers Forum and launching of the farmers fund.
Mr. Philip Abayori, President of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award winners’ Association of Ghana who is also the Chairman of the National Planning Committee of AGRIFA 2011, indicated that: “AGRIFA 2011 is a Ghanaian farmers’ initiative geared towards promoting, marketing and packaging local agricultural produce, with the introduction of appropriate agricultural technology in the sector, to boost production towards increasing income of agricultural producers, guarantee national food security and increase employment opportunities”.
It is also expected to promote the consumption of local agricultural produce which has more health benefits than the imported ones.
On his part, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in-charge of Fisheries, Nii Amasah Namoale was quick to observe that in Ghana, governments over the years believe that investing in agric can be transformative hence implemented a number of agricultural development programmes and strategies which has increased food production tremendously, and stabilization of food prices in the country.
By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, Senior Development Journalist
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