The Agriculture sector is one of the major contributors to the economy. Value addition is key to ensuring maximum actualization of the sector as well as the farmers’ well-being.
Good policies like processing facilities must be put in place to add value to the agricultural produce that could make Ghana one of the leading economies in terms of food security in Africa.
An entrepreneur Alberta Maame Yeboah put it, “Ghana has arable and very fertile lands that can produce every crop in the country, we have very fertile lands for cultivation as compared to most of the western countries”.
Currently, Ghana is growing rapidly in export while food processing is moving slowly. This has brought a huge gap causing a deficit and unable to contribute more than expected to the economy.
Ghana has become an import-driven economy that basically imports almost everything since there are not enough processing facilities to process the raw materials into finished products.
This is causing post-harvest losses as most of the farm produce rot on the farms, especially during the peak seasons.
“It is time to invest highly into the food processing sub-sector to change the narrative”, Alberta added.
She noticed that the dominated rural subsistence farmers lack Innovations and the use of modern technologies.
She’s urging all stakeholders and the government needs to focus and invest in mechanised agriculture, innovative approaches, and embrace modern technologies such as Artificial intelligence (AI) and Robotics to ensure sustainable food crop and livestock production.
“The government and the stakeholders must appreciate the investments needed in the agriculture sector. These modern technologies, machineries, and equipment will increase productivity.
“It is time we move from subsistence farming and consider commercial farming. There should be a collaboration of the small scale farmers and modern commercial farmers for knowledge sharing”, she said.
Pointing out the challenges mitigating the sector to achieve the food sufficiency, she explained that lack of infrastructures like good roads, storage facilities, and potable water are major problems facing the agriculture sectοr.
Value addition of Agriculture produce
Alberta mentioned that the poor nature of roads linking the farming communities contributes to a greater percentage of post-harvest losses.
“Potable water is very difficult to access in most places in Ghana for human consumption, how much more getting enough to irrigate our farmers and the unfortunate thing is the rivers we have are been destroyed by the galamsey activities in the country.
“I believe it is time that Ghana and Africa as a continent focused and invested heavily in the value additiοn of the agricultural produce and this will make it attractive to the youth to patronize,” Alberta concluded.