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Mahama is right on imminent food shortage-GAWU Sec

We can only sell what we can carry” | News Ghana
Some food produce in Ghana

The General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers’ Union, Edward Karewe, believes warnings about a possible food shortage in Ghana should be taken seriously.

“We should be sincere with ourselves because a policy is meant to meet the needs of the people. When people are crying that they are anticipating food shortage, you don’t have to dismiss it,” he said on Eyewitness News.

Mr. Karewe said a more prudent response will be to offer assurances to Ghanaians.

“Assure the people that we are putting in place ABCD to deal with it should it [food shortage] come, but you don’t say that it will not come and refer us to 2017 [is not the best].”

One of the red flags for Mr. Karewe has been the government’s struggles to pay fertiliser suppliers.

This is believed to have led to a shortage of fertiliser for farmers this year.

“It is not just about the lack of fertiliser. It is also about the fact that people who had actually increased their acreage hoping to get the subsidised fertiliser did not get it,” Mr. Karewe added.

In response, a Deputy Agriculture Minister, Yaw Frimpong Addo, expressed confidence in the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

“Because of the numbers that we have been able to enrol on the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, there is no way that Ghana is going to face any famine in this country,” he said.

He added that the government was expecting good harvests this year, which will be buttressed by the policy to have a warehouse in each district.

“Fortunately for Ghana, between 81 and 85 of the warehouses will be ready to be used this year to store any excess produce that will come from our farmers.”

“The Buffer Stock Company would be a resource to be able to buy all these things to save them for drier seasons,” Mr. Addo said.

The discussions over fears of a food shortage follow concerns raised by former President John Mahama.

The Food and Agriculture Minister’s office accused Mr. Mahama of scaremongering, saying the Planting for Food and Jobs had bolstered Ghana’s food security.

Source: Citinewsroom

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Agribusiness

Food prices shoot up – Unfavourable rainfall, foreign traders to blame

Marketing Premium Products: Why Distinctive Food Packaging Design Matters

Prices of some major food items have seen significant increases across the country.

Traders, consumers unhappy

Surveys conducted by the Daily Graphic at markets across the country confirmed the rising prices.

Meanwhile, traders and consumers are concerned about the steep rise in food prices.Daily Graphic independent checks have also revealed that on Mondays and Thursdays, traders from neighbouring countries visit markets in Accra for bulk purchases of food items and export same to their respective countries.

Source:Graphiconline

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Agribusiness

Agogo plantain production to soar – MoFA predicts ahead of festival

Plantain and cocoyam consumed in Ghana is imported | News Ghana

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) expects a bumper harvest of plantain in the Agogo area of the Ashanti Region this year despite a slump in production and export of the produce between January and September.

According to the Asante Akim North Municipal Director of Agriculture, Mr Eric Dwomoh, unfavourable rainfall between March and June, this year, led to exports to Togo and Burkina Faso falling to 2,785.46 metric tonnes this year, from a high of 6,748.67 metric tonnes within the same period last year.

In terms of revenue, GH¢14,652, 835 was realised in the first nine months of last year from the exports, but within the same period this year, the proceeds fell to GH¢5,700,525.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in an interview after the launch of the second Agogo Plantain Festival last Tuesday, Mr Dwomoh said, “With meteo services saying rainfall will improve, we hope to see bumper harvest between now and January, next year”.

Value of festival

Organised by the Agogo Traditional Council in partnership with MoFA, the festival which was instituted last year is meant to demonstrate the economic benefits of plantain farming.

This year’s event will be held from November 12 -14 on the theme, “Assessing the benefits of plantain production – contribution from all stakeholders”.

The 2021 Plantain Festival comes after a successful take-off last year. The festival has its roots from the bushfires of 1983 when Agogo’s forest reserve was devastated by bush fires.

The Omanhene of Agogo, Nana Akuoko Sarpong, acquired hectares of the reserve from the Department of Forestry and put them under plantain cultivation.

His personal effort was so successful that he emerged the overall best plantain farmer in the 1988 National Best Farmer Awards.

Thereupon, the people took to plantain cultivation. The result has been phenomenal and today, people refer to “Agogo Plantain” in the same way as Ghanaians used to refer to “Obuasi Ankaa” (oranges) in times past.

 ‘Agogo Miracle’

On Tuesdays, truck loads line up the Agogo routes taking plantain to other parts of the country.

The Ghana Cocoa Board now goes to Agogo to buy plantain suckers for cultivation in cocoa growing areas of the Western Region.

 ManyAgogo citizens, who migrated to other parts of the country, are returning home to do plantain farming, while those in Europe and America are remitting their relations with specific instruction to invest the money in plantain cultivation.

 “The Agogo miracle is the miracle of leadership,” commented Nana Bediako Brogya Sarpong, Dompiahene of Agogo and CEO of Brogya Resources Limited, an upstream and downstream oil and gas company.

He said, “once upon a time, Agogo was the second-largest producer of cocoa. Then the fires came. Today, see what a people can do under inspired visionary leadership”.

Subsidies.

Mr Dwomoh said the government had introduced subsidies on organic fertiliser, which was good for plantain production so farmers should go for it.

“Now we have enough agriculture extension agents and the ministry plans to recruit more so farmers will have improved technical services.

 Mr Dwomoh further stated that plantain farming was receiving a boost in Agogo because the problems with Fulani herdsmen had been largely resolved saving the farms from destruction by cattle.

He called for irrigation facilities to further boost production.

Specialised zones

 Nana Akuoko Sarpong challenged the National House of Chiefs to champion the creation of specialised zones for cultivation of particular crops in their paramountcy and use the resultant economic boom to reverse rural-urban migration.

“From Mampong to Amantin, from Atebubu, Prang to Yeji,the land is a paradise for the cultivation of maize, rice and other cereals. The North has an ideal soil for cultivating sunflower for oil.

 “Once upon a time, Obuasi was synonymous with oranges; when you talked of rice, you thought of places such as Aveyime and Nasia, in the same way as the northern belt had built a reputation with the shea butter,” he told the Daily Graphic pointing out that “the economic boom will come from either the export or the downstream operations when we set up factories to process the crops”.

 The Omanhene said the time had come for Africa to wise up to the reality in the advanced countries where 10 per cent of the people farmed to feed the millions and provide raw materials for factories, as opposed to Africa where 70 per cent did the farming and, even then, could not feed themselves let alone the whole nation.

 “The only reason is that over there, the farmers are knowledgeable and farming is a skill. Also, unlike us, they plan their agriculture without leaving out important linkages such as transportation which is a sine qua non,” the lawyer and former Minister of State observed.

 He added, “That is why hard as we try, we still are unable to produce cocoa in the quantities that will send us right back to the top where we used to be on the world market”.

He said the Plantain Festival had come to stay because the benefits from plantain production were enormous.

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Agribusiness

ADB to collaborate with Development Bank on its agribusiness financing agenda

The Agricultural Development Bank (adb) is looking forward to a closer collaboration with the new Development Bank Ghana (DBG) to push its agenda of agribusiness financing.

The anticipated areas of collaboration include grant of financial assistance through adb to medium and long-term industries.

Dr John Kumah, a Deputy Minister of Finance, said this when he inaugurated a nine-member reconstituted Board of the Bank in Accra.

The Board include Daasebre Akuamiah Agyapong II; the Kwahuhene and the President of the KwahuTraditional Council as Chairperson, Dr John Kofi Mensah; the Managing Director of the Bank as a member and Mrs Abena Osei-Asare, a Deputy Minister of Finance.

Other members are Madam Mary Abla Kessie; a lawyer, Mr George K. Abankwa-Yeboah; a Pharmacist and Mr Alhaji Habib Iddrisu; an Entrepreneur.

The rest are Mr Evron Rothschild Hughes; a Development Economist, Professor Peter Quartey; an Economist and Prof Eric Yirenkyi Danquah; a Plant Geneticist

The Minister said adb would also explore professional technical support services to assist with projects to be domiciled at both DBG and the financial institutions

“As espoused by the law establishing it, we at adb are excited about the new DBG, in the true sense of its purpose that will among other benefits, bridge the existing gap between commercial banking and Ghana’s developmental agenda,” he added.

He expressed the hope that the benefits that would emerge from a collaboration between adb and DBG would help channel private investments into productive sectors, new technologies and help accelerate market efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals.

He said the government and the other shareholders of the Bank expected the Bank to remain focused on its primary commitment to agribusiness while effectively managing risk to ensure that adb remained robust in its growth and profitability.

He said the goal of the Bank among others was to increase the share of agriculture in the total loan portfolio of the Bank from 28 per cent to 50 per cent by 2022.

The Minister said the Bank had put in place several measures to be able to achieve the aforementioned rather ambitious objective:

These include the creation of agricultural desks at 36 of the Bank’s branches and the number was projected to increase to all branches in agricultural zones by 2022.

It also created an agribusiness division with a General Manager, who was a member of the Bank’s Executive Committee.

Dr Kumah said the Bank also restructured the then Agricultural Finance Department and created two departments namely the Agricultural Value Chain Department with focus of financing primary agricultural production and the Agricultural Services Department with focus of financing value addition, agro marketing and agricultural infrastructure.

Daasebre Akuamiah Agyapong II expressed gratitude to President Nana Akufo-Addo for the confidence reposed in them to serve the Bank.

He assured stakeholders of their commitment and dedication to move the Bank to a greater height.

“We are not only going to increase the bottomline but together we will be able to pay dividend to shareholders, ” he added.

Source :GNA

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