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The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has made clear that this year’s National Farmers’ Day celebrations will take place on October 7 at Kintampo in the Brong- Ahafo Region due to the country’s general elections.

The day, which is set aside by government to honour farmers and fishers who provide food for the people, raw materials for industries and earn foreign exchange for the country, is on the theme: “Agriculture; A business response to economic growth.”

In a speech read on his behalf, Julius Debrah, Chief of Staff, said the theme underscored effective commercial agriculture, as a critical factor for the country’s development agenda and there is thus a strong need for sustainable and responsible investment to create business opportunities in the agricultural sector.

He said the theme also demonstrates the resolve of government at providing a framework and institutional basis for a long-term engagement and supplementary financing for scaling up investment in private sector-led pro-poor agriculture value chain development through the Ghana Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (GASSIP) being implemented by MOFA.

GASSIP is expected to directly benefit at least 62,900 farmers by Programme Year (PY) 3 and 86,400 farmers by PY 6, that 4000 Farmer-Based Organisations would be involved in implementation and would receive support to be integrated into formalised value chains and expected to be more climatic resilient, he noted.

According to him, most FBOs would be linked to domestic and export markets, agro-industries, input suppliers and at least 150 participating financial institutions or their branches and the linkages would be established through 200 agri-business arrangements with total outreach estimated at 514,000 people.

Debrah said reports by the Ghana Living Standards Survey 6 indicates that the sector currently provides employment for about 44.7 per cent of the total workforce in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

He said some investment areas in the sector include; provision of agricultural inputs such as improved seeds and agrochemicals, processing of dairy products as well as supply of machinery to establish hatcheries for day-old chicks, agro-processing industry to add value and reduce post-harvest losses and developing irrigable land through irrigation.

Debrah finally added that responsible investment in agriculture and food systems is essential for enhancing food and nutrition security and transformation of the economy.

Source for rehashed comments via GNA