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Osafo Maafo Woos Investors To Agric Financing   
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Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, has urged foreign investors willing to invest in the economy to consider the agriculture sector as it will offer them many advantages over other sectors.

Speaking at the Ghana Investment Summit, which was themed: ‘Ghana is open for business again’, Ing. Osafo Maafo said the agriculture sector is the stronghold of the country’s economy but has suffered various setbacks over the years, which is why government has decided to introduce a number of programmes to revive it.

“We go nowhere without taking advantage of our strongest advantage as a nation [agriculture]. But interestingly, for about seven years, agriculture has performed very poorly in this country. Our growth can never go up without the growth of agriculture. Therefore, the Planting for Food and Jobs requires the support of everybody.

The government has also come up with a number of initiatives, talking about One District One Factory. If you look at it very carefully, a lot of the projects will be agro-business, because the obvious raw materials you will come across in Ghana are agriculture outputs. We want to aid agriculture. So, particularly in the north, we are talking about One Village, One Dam, he said.

Mr. Osafo Maafo further appealed to foreign investors to use their resources to promote the sector which, he argues, will guarantee them good return on investment.

“We are appealing to our foreign investors for two reasons. You can’t promote investment without capital. The bulk of the capital is outside Ghana. You can’t talk investment without know-how. Capital alone is not enough if we talk about accelerated investment. You need the know-how and the know-how is basically outside Ghana.

So, GIPC is appealing to all potential investors that we have created the environment for you to come in with your capital and with your know-how and I can assure you it will be protected. The levels of profit you will make in this environment will be such that Europe will be nowhere near,” he intimated.

Figures from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) show that as of the third quarter of last year, of some 46 new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects recorded, valued at US$241.17million, none was in the area of agriculture and agro-processing, in spite of generous tax incentives offered through the centre.

There are a number of tax incentives designed to attract investment to the sector. Under the GIPC Tax Regime and Investment Act, investment in agricultural activities, such as cattle ranching, attract just one percent tax for 10 years; tree cropping (example: coffee, oil palm, shea-butter and coconut) also attracts just one percent tax for 10 years.

Livestock, poultry, fish farming and cash crops also attract just one percent tax for a five-year period. In the same vein, agro-processing – converting fish, livestock, into edible canned products, also attracts one percent tax for a period of five years.
Source: B&FT

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