The Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture is finalizing plans to improve food security, agricultural productivity, and halt the importation of essential commodities like onions and tomatoes. According to Mr. Bryan Acheampong, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, the government has an “aggressive plan” that aims to match food consumption, export, and industrial requirements within the next five years.
Mr. Acheampong said the plan would ensure year-round production, attract the youth to venture into agriculture, and provide jobs. Part of the plan will shift from the traditional government fertilizer subsidy program to a regime where the private sector will support farmers with input credit. The private sector’s support would take away the burden of farmers looking for inputs like seeds and fertilizer, reducing costs to about 85% for farmers.
The government’s plan, when approved by the Cabinet, will seek the buy-in of stakeholders to ensure success. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s goal is to build food security and resilience, reduce importation of essential commodities, and halt the importation of commodities like onions and tomatoes.
Mr. Henk van Duijn, the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), and his team paid a courtesy call on the Minister. The purpose of the visit was to introduce Mr. Duijn to the Minister, strengthen existing relationships, build new strategic partnerships, and discuss issues of mutual interest relating to ensuring food security.
Mr. Duijn said IFDC aimed to develop and transfer improved production technologies to smallholder farmers while connecting them to efficient and profitable markets. Since its operation began in Ghana in 2002, the organization has contributed directly and indirectly to the development of agriculture across the country to promote local economic development. This was done through increasing food and agricultural productivity through effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technologies and agribusiness expertise using a bottom-up approach.
For the most part, the government’s aggressive plan to improve food security, agricultural productivity, and halt the importation of essential commodities like onions and tomatoes is a step in the right direction. The shift from traditional government fertilizer subsidy programs to private sector support will reduce farmers’ input costs and provide jobs for the youth. The IFDC’s contribution to the development of agriculture across the country will further enhance the government’s plan to build food security and resilience.