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'It Is Time To Lift Agriculture' - Expert   
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Dr Dorothy A. Effa, Assistant Director, Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PPMED) of the Food and Agriculture Ministry, has said the nation must elevate its agriculture now through the aggressive promotion of improved farming technologies.

She said: “We know the statistics on hunger, nutrition and stunting, we know the condition of the climate. Talk is no longer enough. All of us know what needs to be done and we must do it.”

“We need to adopt measures that will improve the productivity and quality of production in agriculture and aquaculture as an integral part of the country’s wider growth strategy.”

Dr Effa was addressing a three-day general meeting of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), in Kumasi.

It was held under the theme: “In the midst of economic crisis, the role of small holder farmers”. It brought together senior government officials, the leadership of various farmer associations, and other key stakeholders from across the nation.

Dr Effa said projecting agriculture was important for creating an inclusive economy, as majority of the poor continued to live and work in rural areas.

She said more should be done to give value to agricultural production and aquaculture to attract higher prices.

“A progressive upgrading of the economy towards higher value sectors is needed for Ghana to establish new comparative advantage in the regional and global economy,” she said.

Dr Effa highlighted the critical contribution of small holder farmers to national economic development and said it was against this background that the Ministry had initiated a number of strategies and programmes.

She mentioned high quality seed and fertilizer availability and the establishment of agricultural mechanization services enterprise centres (AMSECs) to support the private sector to provide affordable and timely access to farm power machinery as examples.

The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (G-CAP), where big commercial farmers are working closely with small farmers through the out-growers schemes, she said was a commendable scheme.

She noted: “Diversified agriculture with low capital requirements, linked to local marketing and access to loans under fair conditions, would offer small farming families the greatest possible income security”.

Mr John Akaribo, National Secretary of the Association, said it was important to focus on helping the small holder farmer to efficiently operate.
Source: GNA

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