The rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 is raising uncertainty within Ghana’s economy; and the agriculture and Agribusiness sector cannot be overlooked. As concerns continue to grow about COVID-19 and its potential havoc on the agricultural productivity, agribusiness logistics, market, processing and the general economy, the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana (CAG) is calling on government to as a matter of urgency set up the Ghana Agriculture Emergency and Disaster Fund (GAE-DF) to support farmers and processors to continue to Produce for the good citizens of this country and provide some stimulus packages and other support systems for the country to continue to have food.
The agribusiness industry provides critical opportunity for rural poverty reduction and the development of low-income communities in Ghana. Food security is therefore highly critical and hence its recognition within the MDGs and SDGs as a strong and critically achievable goal for the world. For this reason, CAG is calling on government to profile major food Production zones in the country and priorities resources while embarking on mopping up of other essentials in developing and commercializing Vegetables and underutilized Crops. Food security crops such as rice, maize, soybean, sorghum, yam, potato, cowpea, cassava, millet and groundnuts should be prioritized for commercial development. The poultry, Livestock and Aquaculture value chains should be included in the stimulus package.
We are asking the government to also set up the Food security Committee (FSC; if it’s not already in place). The FSC should comprise relevant research institutions, financial institutions, the military and the para security agencies, PPRSD, Crops and livestock division of MoFA, Electricity Company, processors and relevant private sector players and other organizations that would be deemed Relevant. The military and other security agencies should be resourced to move into Major food crops production areas in the country to provide some form of support in the areas of road construction and transport of produce from farms to markets. Agriculture Machinery for land preparations and harvesting should be made available by the state to help such initiatives. Warehouses and other storage facilities should be made available to store crops while the buffer stock company to mop up and buy produce for storage for any eventuality.
This is the time that we must all rally to support farmers to be able to continue to produce quality safer food for the country as a whole. Countries in the world are currently undertaking State protection policies to support and protect their economies and Ghana must not be an exception. We also call on Bank of Ghana to relax its monetary policy so farmers and members within the agribusiness value chain could access credits to produce some essential commodities for the Ghanaian public.
We would like to use this opportunity to encourage our members to practise safer hygiene and take the necessary precautionary measures against COVID-19 while undertaking their daily activities. We also encourage members to use prescribed hand sanitisers and regularly to wash their hands under running. It is our hope that, with deliberate thought-through efforts, Ghana will overcome this pandemic soon.
Long Live Ghana
Long Live farmers of Ghana
Long Live the Agribusiness Industry in Ghana
Long Live the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana-CAG
To God be the Glory
Farmer Anthony S.K Morrison
Chairman: Ghana Agriculture Sector Skills Council
0540742111 / 0207602428
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