Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, has expressed satisfaction with the accelerated growth rate of 8.4 per cent of the Agricultural sector in 2021.
Ghana’s agricultural sector has recorded an accelerated growth of 8.4 per cent in the year 2021, up from the 7.4 per cent in the 2020, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture has said.
Speaking at the launch of the 38th edition of the farmers day celebration in Accra, the Minister expressed satisfaction at Ghana’s accelerated growth despite the difficulty the agricultural sector encountered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto noted that five years after the planting for food and jobs initiative, the Government had spent 2.6 billion Ghana cedis to subsidise cocoa seed and fertilizer, resulting in the generation of 50 billion cedis worth of farm produce in the country.
He said Ghana’s agriculture has stood very tall due to the support given to farmers and the reciprocal benefit. The Agricultural sector has performed extra ordinarily as compared to other sectors, adding that farmers needed to be commended for their achievement.
He said: ” The growth has been accelerating due to the commitment of our farmers. So, we need to commend our farmers for standing on that to produce in very difficult global circumstances and we should be proud of them.”
Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, in a speech read on her behalf, noted that the concept of value addition in agriculture, especially fisheries and aquaculture presented a very good opportunity for additional revenue generation, job creation, foreign exchange earnings and effective post-harvest management.
Ms Koomson disclosed that in 2021, total fish production stood at 658,617.53 tonnes estimated at 11.04 billion Ghana cedis, which contributed to about 1.04 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and 20.99 per cent of agriculture, adding that “the benefit would have been more if value addition was included.”
She said the Ministry was promoting new products such as fish powder, fish khebab and fish sausage in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Food Research Institute, specifically, products such as fish balls had been developed while uptakers were being encouraged to commercialise such products.
She indicated that the ministry had taken keen interest in pursuing various activities to improve value addition, which included strengthening the capacities of actors in the fish value chain to ensure production of safe and quality fish products.
To this effect, 994 fish farmers have so far been trained in hygienic fish handling, fish processing and marketing strategies while 200 fish processors have been also trained in best practices.
The 2022 National Farmers’ Day celebration would be held in the Eastern Region on the theme: Accelerating Agricultural Development through value addition.
Mr. Seth Kwame Acheampong, Eastern Regional Minister said: ” Our basic survival and progress as a nation depends on the produce this sector provides. The contribution of this sector to our GDP continues to remain significant and the employment opportunities that exist in this sector cannot be overemphasized.”
Mr. Kwame Acheampong said the Eastern Region was endowed with a unique diversity in terms of culture, ethnicity, vegetation and contributed greatly to the nation’s food basket.
He commended the National Organizing Committee for the honour bestowed on them to host this year’s National Farmers’ Day celebration and affirmed an effective collaboration to make the celebration a success.
“Let me assure all of you that we will collaborate effectively with the organisers and stakeholders to ensure this year’s celebration will be one of the greatest ever held, if not the best”.
Source: Ghana News Agency