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  • Ghana Government urged to cut subsidies in the agriculture sector

    Aug 8th, 2017

    Mr Kofi Venyo, the Chief Executive Officer of Kofi Venyo and Company Limited, a commercial agriculture firm, has called on government to cut subsidies in the agriculture sector.He said this would enable farmers to see themselves as business entities and access credits to operate and improve on their yields.Mr Venyo said this in a presentation during the two-day Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) on the theme: “Building A Ghanaian Owned Economy, 60 Years After Independence” in Accra.The events brought together more than 500 local and international business leaders to dialogue and chart a clear path for Ghanaian businesses to own the Ghanaian economy.

    Some strategic issues that were discussed during the plenary sessions included: Macroeconomic trends affecting the global economy; the attributes that have allowed emerging market companies to play an increasing role on the international stage; the rise of the Ghanaian urban consumer; and the interrelated social and demographic changes creating new domestic engines of growth.Speaking on: Supporting the private sector to provide affordable solution to farmers and creating incentive to attract youth into agriculture,” Mr Venyo said government should speed up most of the policies in the sector to continue to improve on agriculture.

    He said famers needed training and capacity building to enable them to produce to meet the demands of the international market and continue to feed the country.“Planting for Food and Jobs is a good concept, which needs to be linked with agriculture modernisation,” he added.He urged government to train farmers before the commencement of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative. The CEO said government needed to support farmers to venture into value addition and waive taxes on agriculture inputs. Dr Sagri Bambangi, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, said government was working with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and other players in the seed value chain to improve on seed production.

    He said government would also support some private seed growers to have improvement in the seed supply in next year’s farming season. “With support of all Ghanaians, government will be able to transform the agriculture sector to continue to feed the country,” he said. Mr Richard Nunekpenu, the Chief Farmer, Anyako Farms, said over the years government had paid attention to only small scale farmers and that it was time it redirected its attention to the commercial farms.

    He said the ‘wholesale’ support to the small scale farmers in terms of interventions with the intent to win election had never been in the best interest of the sector. “We need to change the idea of supplying freebies to farmers,” he added. He said government should view farming as a business and provide the enabling environment to support in accessing credit. The Brazilian Ambassador, Laudemar Aquiar, said the Brazilian Government had started cooperating with Ghana on cashew production to add value to the industry.

    He said there was also south-south cooperation between the two countries to support the agric sector to produce more. Thematic workshops would also be held to enable participants to tap into the ideas of Ghanaian and international business experts concerning management issues and trends.Since 2012 the Ghana Economic Forum had rallied some of the country’s most remarkable minds to discuss, debate and gain insights needed to advance the economy of Ghana.