The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in Ghana Kofi Humado spoke Monday at the fourth National Farmers Forum in Accra, and striking a common theme (the forum theme was "Reducing Post-Harvest Losses for Sustainable Food Security and Nutrition”) he encouraged the enhanced interactions between farmers, the country’s political leadership, MOFA, the private sector and the public on issues of agricultural development as the key to a sustainable food supply in the future.
Humado said it was the vision of the government to modernize the food and agriculture sector to transform the economy, improve food security and nutrition as well as enhance incomes and livelihoods of the farmers. Humado also added the MOFA, through the METASIP, was addressing six areas: increasing in food security and emergency preparedness, increasing income growth, increasing competitiveness and enhancing integration into domestic and international markets, sustainable management of land and environment.
“It is also covering the increase in application of science and technology in food and agriculture development and improved institutional coordination and strengthening of partnership,” said Humado
He said due to the efforts of farmers, the country was self-sufficient in the production of major staples except rice and poultry products, although for rice, the self sufficiency gap has increased from 30 per cent in 2006 to 60 per cent presently. Humado said the Ministry’s plans in the coming years was to focus on the development of Farmer Based Organizations as agribusiness entities, irrigation development especially for small holders, roll out of Graduate Youth in Agriculture program and seed and planting material development and distribution of farmers, among others.
Nayon Bilijo, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said Ghana was among the highest fish consuming countries in the world with a per capita consumption of between 23-25 kilograms whiles the world average is 13, but he added the challenge was that the country had not been able to meet its requirement in fish production, adding that the country’s fish demand in 2012 was estimated at 968,000 metric tons whiles fish production was 486 metric tons representing 50.2 per cent of the requirement.
Bilijo said the Ministry was constructing the Turnkey Fish Processing Plant at Elmina in the Central Region at an estimated cost of $7.48 million with an Indian Exim Bank loan facility which when completed would have the descaling, gutting, filleting and packing of fish. To read more, click HERE.