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Gov't urged to demonstrate greater commitment to agriculture
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Participants at a forum on the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) have called on the government to demonstrate practical commitment towards the promotion of modernized agriculture to ensure food security and reduce poverty.

The participants, drawn from farmer-based and civil society organizations, small scale traders and security services, insisted that modernized agriculture was the only way to lift Ghana from poverty and ensure food security.

Mr George Yeboah, Ashanti Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, drew attention to the importance of sustainable land management and the application of science and technology to raise agricultural production.

He appealed to Ghanaians to patronize local agricultural produce to enable farmers to continue with production and reduce unemployment.

Mr Yeboah said the time had come for policy makers to move away from rhetoric and commit the needed financial resources to boost agricultural production and marketing.

He called on the government to provide the needed support to the sector and initiate policies to reduce food importation and to make sure that local farmers got market for their produce.

Mr George Ankomah Yeboah, President of Nana Yaa Foundation, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) in Kumasi, said CSOs were against the EPA because African countries did not have the capacity to compete with the Europeans.

He said the influx of European goods on African markets would collapse local industries and reduce local agricultural production.

Mr Christopher Dapaah, President of Resource Link Foundation, called on CSOs to send strong signal to the EU that they were not in favour of the EPA as it stood now.

The forum, which was organized by Resource Link Foundation, a Non Governmental Organization in collaboration with Oxfam and Christian Aids, was to create awareness on iEPA signed by the Government of Ghana and the European Union (EU).

The EPA is a trade partnership agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP), and seeks to remove certain restrictions on goods either exported or imported to and from these countries and expand market access of products from member countries to the partnership blocks.

CSOs, NGOs and other advocacy groups have kicked against the signing of the trade agreement, saying conditions and terms in the agreement did not favour ACP countries with low capacities to compete with European nations.

Source: GNA

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