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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has underlined the government’s determination to pursue aggressive modernization of Ghana’s agriculture to substantially increase productivity and reduce food imports.
The agovernment’s agenda for the next four years is to transform agriculture by improving production efficiency and ensuring increased returns to farmers, the president said Thursday when officiating at the commencement of work on a 1,000-tonne warehouse at Ejura, about 110 kilometres north of this capital of Ashanti Region (Province).
The event coincided with the celebration of the 37th World Food Day, which was celebrated under the theme, ‘Change the future migration: Invest in food security and rural development’.
The president said the government was eager to provide storage facilities to reduce post-harvest losses, promote agro-processing, efficient packaging and transportation of agricultural produce. It would also work to ensure access to credit by farmers and the supply of inputs to transform their lives.
President Nana Akufo-Addo added that the government would forge a strong partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to enhance the agricultural value chain.
The warehouse is a component of the government’s Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), an initiative designed to boost infrastructural development, particularly in rural and deprived communities under which each of the 275 constituencies across the country will receive 1.0 million US dollars every year to invest in infrastructure development.
Abebe Haile Gabriel, the FAO Representative to Ghana, stated that for developing countries where the majority of the population earned their livelihoods from agriculture, transforming the sector within the context of a dynamic rural sector could be ‘very beneficial’.
It was the way forward to halt migration of the productive youth to the urban areas, while ensuring an end to hunger and malnutrition. Studies reveal that there were 244 million international migrants in 2015, 40 per cent more than in 2000, while an estimated 763 million people, mostly from rural areas, also moved within national borders in 2013.
Ruth Yacoub, the WFP Representative and Country Director, said the WFP was working with the Food and Agriculture Ministry and the district assemblies in Ghana’s Northern Region on an asset creation programme to stop internal migration of people from food producing areas.