Government working on ‘aggressive plan’ to match food consumption – Bryan Acheampong

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Government Plans Aggressive Strategy to Achieve Food Security and Reduce Imports

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in collaboration with the government, is finalizing an ambitious plan to align food consumption, export needs, and industrial requirements. Over the next five years, this comprehensive strategy aims to enhance food security and resilience by promoting year-round production and eliminating the need for importing essential commodities such as tomatoes and onions.

During a meeting with officials from the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), led by their new President and CEO, Henk van Duijn, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong, shared insights about the government’s vision. The visit by the IFDC officials was intended to introduce Mr. Duijn, who assumed office in January 2023, to the Minister and strengthen existing partnerships, establish new strategic alliances, and discuss matters of mutual interest related to ensuring food security.

Once approved by the cabinet, the plan will seek the support and collaboration of various stakeholders to ensure its successful implementation. Minister Acheampong highlighted that part of the strategy involves transitioning from the traditional government fertilizer subsidy program to a system where the private sector actively supports farmers with input credit. This approach aims to alleviate the burden on farmers by providing them with necessary inputs like seeds, fertilizers, and machinery at a reduced cost of around 85 percent.

The Minister emphasized that this aggressive plan would attract the interest of many individuals, particularly the youth, to engage in agriculture and create job opportunities within the sector. By providing the necessary resources and support, the government aims to make agriculture a more appealing and profitable venture for aspiring farmers.

Mr. Duijn expressed the International Fertilizer Development Center’s commitment to developing and transferring improved production technologies to smallholder farmers while connecting them to efficient and profitable markets. He noted that since the organization began operating in Ghana in 2002, it has made significant contributions to the country’s agricultural development, promoting local economic growth. This has been achieved by increasing agricultural productivity through effective and environmentally sustainable crop nutrient technologies and agribusiness expertise, using a bottom-up approach.

IFDC has successfully implemented various projects in Ghana, including the introduction of urea deep placement technology and the development of seed value chains in the northern regions of the country. Their efforts have positively impacted the agricultural sector by enhancing productivity and supporting farmers in accessing better markets.

The government’s aggressive strategy, combined with the expertise and collaborative efforts of organizations like the IFDC, aims to boost domestic food production, achieve food security, and reduce reliance on imports. By fostering innovation, increasing access to resources, and strengthening partnerships, Ghana is well-positioned to transform its agricultural sector and create a more sustainable and self-reliant food system.

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