Business News of 2014-03-04

'Food importation is worrying gov’t'

The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Clement Humado says the large-scale importation of food into the country is a major concern for government.
According to him, the massive importation of food was depleting Ghana’s scarce foreign reserves, thereby widening its trade deficit.
Climate change, low investment into the agricultural sector and the general notion of Ghanaians towards farming, he said, were responsible for the country’s low performance in agriculture over the years.
This, according to him, had led to large-scale importation of food into the country to complement those produced locally.
Mr. Humado, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan at Israel-Ghana Agricultural Business Opportunities Seminar in Accra on Monday, called for meaningful investment into the agricultural sector to ensure its survival.
“Our resources are getting weaker and low because of adverse climate conditions. We also have low agricultural output because of the self sufficient nature of farming that has characterized the nation’s agricultural sector,” he stated.
“The way forward to arresting the situation therefore is to build appropriate infrastructure that can sustain our current productions and also buy into our export market.
The seminar was held to revive relations between Ghana and Israel.
It was attended by a high-powered delegation from Israel including the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Yair Shamir.
Meanwhile, the Minister pleaded with the Israeli government and investors to consider investing in the nation’s agric sector.
Israel’s Ambassador to Ghana, Sharon Bar-li, in her welcome address, said “Ghanaians must understand that the agric sector needs to move from a self sufficient one to a commercial one.
Commenting on the potential outcome of renewed trade relations between the two nations, she said “the combination of Ghana’s potential and Israel’s experience in the sector is a recipe for success in boosting the country’s agricultural sector.”
The Israeli government, she said, would render the necessary financial and technological support to Ghanaian farmers to ensure the promotion of the sector.
Source: Daily Guide
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