The National Food and Agric Show (FAGRO) has launched its maiden National Agricultural summit to extensively discuss how the industry could be improved to meet current agricultural trends.
The Summit, to be held on Wednesday, July 8, in Accra, would bring together key stakeholders and experts in the sector under a common umbrella to discuss the way forward for the sector.
The summit, which would be on the theme: “Further Unlocking the Ghanaian Agricultural Sector: the role of the youth and women”, would also provide a platform for participants to discuss critical issues concerning the sector, especially those in relation to the youth and women.
Ms Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, the General Manager of FAGRO, at the media launch in Accra, said the Summit would also provide a unique opportunity for policy makers, farmers, researchers, government agencies and corporate entities, and funders to network, exchange knowledge and gain insights into the context of youth and women involvement in agriculture.
According to her, because the agricultural sector was a major contributor to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product, it was imperative for the government, agricultural institutions, civil society and non-governmental organisations to put a huge spotlight on the sector to harness the untapped potentials for its development.
She said despite some progress made in the sector over the years, it was still beset with numerous problems, adding that, matters of concern to stakeholders, particularly, farmers, needed to be adequately addressed to ensure sustenance and food security.
She explained that FAGRO had over the years been working closely with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other institutions to promote and project Ghana’s agricultural sector, especially, on the international scene.
She said the topics for the Summit had been carefully selected to ensure that recommendations made during the deliberations would be a “game changer” in the country’s agricultural sector when implemented.
Ms Akosa mentioned some areas of focus for the summit as; Innovations and Technologies in Agriculture to attract the youth, breeding the next generation of Agriculture entrepreneurs: The role of Investment Financing and Insurance, and women and the opportunities that exist in the sector.
Alhaji Adam Mahama, Director of Youth in Agriculture Development at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, commended FAGRO for the initiative, which would go a long way to address some of the challenges and limitations facing the sector.
He explained that agriculture in Ghana was private-led with the Ministry facilitating the various activities and creating the needed environment for active and effective participation for growth.
He said the theme of the summit was very apt, adding however that unlocking potentials requires effective capacity building and good management practices to help transform the sector into a commercially oriented one and not as a hobby, particularly by the youth.
Alhaji Mahama also stressed on the introduction and use of improved technology and the need to develop the requisite market for farmers to help attract the youth and ensure food security.