More private investors needed in the agriculture sector - Minister
Nii Djanmah Vanderpuye, the Greater Accra Deputy Regional Minister, has called on private investors to partner government to help develop the agriculture value chain.
He said this would make Ghanaian farmers more profitable and also give them the opportunity to expand in the export market.
Nii Djanmah said this in a keynote address when the Accra Metropolitan Assemby (AMA) in collaboration with the Metro Department of the Food and Agriculture celebrated the 31st Farmers and Fishermen’s Day at the Karikari Park at Dansoman on Friday.
This year’s celebration was on the theme: “Transform Ghana: Invest in Agriculture.”
The first Friday in December, has been set aside annually to reward gallant farmers and fishermen of the nation and to acknowledge the importance of the agricultural sector to the socio-economic development of the country.
Nii Djanmah said investing in agriculture required collective efforts from stakeholders in dealing with its inherent challenges.
He said as much as farmers were desirous of increasing agricultural productivity in the Greater Accra Region the sector has been characterized by destruction of food crops and export crops by alien herdsmen and real estate developers.
“Ladies and gentlemen, in my opinion, I believe the solution is not farfetched. Indeed, the solution is for the Assemblies to make frantic efforts to zone lands for agricultural purposes and to protect those lands from encroachment. I therefore throw this challenge to all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives,” he said.
Nii Djanmah congratulated farmers for their continued interest, dedication and commitment to agriculture and urged them not to rest on their oars for the betterment of Ghana.
He thanked all who in diverse ways contributed to the growth and promotion of agriculture and especially in the Greater Accra Region and expressed gratitude to Amen Amen Church for supporting the AMA in its activities.
The church had earlier donated food items and an unspecified cash amount to the AMA in support of the programme.
Mr Maxwell Odonkor, the Metro Director of Food and Agriculture, said farmers and fishermen face challenges of high cost of production, inputs and credit as well as storage facilities and these denied them the chance to attain optimal benefits from their toils.
He appealed to the government to honour its promise, especially to fishermen for the construction of storage facilities along the various landing beaches to minimize fish losses.
A total of 19 farmers, fishermen, organizations and individuals were honoured.
Lt-Col (Rtd) Felix Osei received the Overall 2015 District Best Farmer Award.
Some of the gifts received were polytanks, deep-freezers, water-pumping machines, bags of fertilizers, wheel-barrows, plastic chairs, and GTP fabrics whilst on display were fresh farm produce.