Former President John Dramani Mahama says investment in Agri-business is the new level needed to grow and expand in order to enhance agricultural development and transformation.
While celebrating farmers in a Facebook post, the former president added that the growth and expansion will ensure the youth generate greater interest in agriculture.
Currently, Agriculture contributes to 54 % of the country’s GDP, and accounts for over 40 % of export earnings, while at the same time providing over 90% of the food needs of the people. While this sector continues to be described as the country’s backbone, it is still predominantly operated traditionally and in small-scales.
Lamenting the development, the former president urged the government to ensure that Ghana EXIM Bank, established to fast track value addition, import substitution and diversification of the economy, scales up investments in the sector.
“We can generate greater interest in agriculture, especially among young Ghanaians, when they have the assurance of affordable credit facilities, ready purchase, improved pricing and value addition.
“This can happen when we have, among others, agro-processing set-ups around the farm gates.
“This is why I established the Ghana EXIM Bank to fast track value addition, import substitution and diversification of the economy through the provision of funds for agriculture production and agro-processing. We must ensure that the Ghana EXIM Bank scales up investments in the sector.”
The flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 presidential election, further called on Ghanaians to eat locally produced goods. He maintained that the patronage of these products should not only be seen as a social obligation to farmers but a patriotic duty to the nation.
The 2019 farmers’ day celebration, the 35th of its kind will be held in Ho in the Volta Region under the theme: ‘Enhancing Small Scale Agriculture Towards Agribusiness Development’.