Government working on ‘aggressive plan’ to match food consumption – Bryan Acheampong
The government through the Agriculture Ministry and is finalising an “aggressive plan” to match food consumption, export and industrial requirements.
In the next five years, the plan is expected to build food security and resilience by ensuring all year-round production and halting the importation of essential commodities like tomatoes and onions.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong said this when he hosted officials of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) led by Henk van Duijn, the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center.
The courtesy call by the Center was to introduce Mr Duijn, who took over the office in January 2023 to the Minister and strengthen existing relationships, build new strategic partnerships and discuss issues of mutual interest relating to ensuring food security.
The Minister said the plan when approved by the cabinet, would seek the buy-in of stakeholders to ensure success.
Part of the plan, he explained, would see a shift from the traditional government fertilizer subsidy programme to a regime where the private sector would be facilitated to support farmers with input credit.
“This will take away the burden of farmers looking for inputs like seeds and fertilizer as well as the cost of machinery. This will reduce the cost to about 85 per cent for farmers,” he said.
Mr Acheampong stated that the aggressive plan would attract the interest of many people, especially the youth to venture into agriculture and provide jobs.
Mr Duijn said it was IFDC’s aim to develop and transfer improved production technologies to smallholder farmers while connecting them to efficient and profitable markets.
The organisation, he said, since its operation in Ghana in 2002 had contributed directly and indirectly to the development of agriculture across the country to promote local economic development.
He said that had been done by increasing food and agricultural productivity through effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technologies and agribusiness expertise using a bottom-up approach.
IFDC has implemented several projects in Ghana, including the introduction of urea deep placement technology, and the development of seed value chains in the northern parts of the country.