The National Food and Agriculture Show
27 Jul 2017

Planting for food and jobs: Home Gardening a solution?

Planting for food and jobs: home gardening a solution?

I remember with a smile the days when as children, we were eager to irrigate our plants at the backyard. We were like the inspectors, monitoring to report the slightest growth indicated. The education syllabus contributed also to our eagerness, stud are so many fond memories of our backyard gardening days, it was also because we were a lot of mouths to feed in Ghana and the number continues to rise. With an annual population growth rate of 3.5%, Ghana’s population is expected to reach 35 million sometime later in 2025. It does make sense to consider the challenge of our population growth and the food security needs.

History has shown that gardening can be an important and practicable part of a secure, healthy, and sustainable food supply system. A classic example is the recognition by the government of the United States   that homegrown food was an important way to ensure an adequate food supply during World War II.

The government then encouraged the planting of victory gardens at the local, state, and federal levels. Through this initiative, it was estimated that 20 million victory gardens were planted in 1943, which produced 8 million tons of food, and an estimated 40% of all the fresh vegetables in the United States.

Gardening can enhance food security in several ways, most importantly through: direct access to a diversity of nutritionally-rich foods; increased purchasing power from savings on food bills and income from sales of garden products, and fall-back food provision during seasonal lean periods.

Gardens have an established tradition and offer great potential for alleviating micronutrient deficiencies. A well-developed home garden for example has the potential to supply most of the non-staple foods that a family needs every day of the year, including roots and tubers, vegetables and fruits, legumes, herbs and spices. According to Food Nutritionists, roots and tubers are rich in energy while legumes are important sources of protein, fat, iron and vitamins. Green leafy vegetables and fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals; particularly folate, and vitamins A, E and C. Vegetables and fruits are a vital component of a healthy diet and should be eaten as part of every meal.

Gardening has also been proven to be one good source to guarantee food security especially during seasonal lean seasons. Produce from our gardens are most at times untouchable unless we are in dire need of them and those times are normally when they are scarce on the market. This ensures that there is always a food source to fall-back in times as when market prices are high which can help relieve government the burden of ensuring the availability of such food crops on the market all year round.

It must be emphasized that not only does gardening provide food security at individual or family level but also at the community and national levels. Roots and tubers, vegetables and fruits cultivated from home gardens are sometimes sold in the neighborhood or in the market to raise income to supplement their budget.  Even though these produce are normally small, they go a long way to help provide food for all in the community.

LINKING GARDENING TO THE MARKETS- A VALUE CHAIN APPROACH

The greatest problem facing Ghana’s agric sector is the lack of an organized marketing system. A market system that offers value for small-holder farmers, If backyard farmers or gardeners realize that their produce have value in the market, they will obviously be encouraged to produce more for both the local and international markets.

Through the value chain approach, backyard farmers can be encouraged to organize themselves into associations to adopt a planned production system and produce based on contractual agreements with the buyers.

This will benefit both backyard farmers and the Ghanaian population’s food security needs in general. This strategy should also involve a closer collaboration between the backyard farmers and the buyers, input dealers and financial institutions in the value chain approach. To improve the position of backyard farmers in open air markets it should aim to build up chain partnership.

Traders and backyard farmers should be assisted to develop unique selling points, which consist basically of tailoring farm production to market demands. Other measures should include the support of quality management, production planning and product development (e.g. more tolerant varieties, packaging).

GARDENING IN GHANA

Even though gardening in cities in the country was quite low after independence, its importance was very much highlighted during General Kutu Acheampong’s regime. Findings from a research conducted by Mr. Kwaku Obosu-Mensah on “Changes In Official Attitudes Towards Urban Agriculture In Accra” indicated that many urban dwellers got involved in farming for the first time after General Acheampong’s military government introduced the Operation Feed Yourself initiative in 1972. Gardening became common in most Ghanaian homes then, to the extent that it became a cliché for having a concubine aside your wife or husband.

The report however noted that prior to 1972; the prestige of farming in the cities was kept on the low due to stringent government prohibitions to help maintain their beauty within colonial standards. The report further revealed that these negative attitudes of city officials towards urban agriculture stems from some public health, administrative and social impacts.  These included the effect the use of biocides for pest/disease control could have on human health, disregards for city planning codes and the socio-economic background of the farmers.

As a result of these factors, city officials have still done very little to promote gardening in the various cities of the country.

URBANIZATION AND FOOD SECURITY----------THE ROLE OF GARDENING

In the global economic downturn where food insecurity has increased due to soaring food prices, backyard and community gardens are some of the most basic survival strategies.

According to Urban Agriculture and Food for the Cities based in the United States, home gardens have become an increasingly important source of food and income for poor households in peri-urban and urban areas.

In spite of the numerous benefits home gardening provides in ensuring food security, this important life skill seems to be non-existent in most of our cities. Majority of homes in our cities nowadays do not have backyard gardens as compared to two decades ago. All these backyards have been cleared to provide accommodation for the ever increasing urban population demand.

What is very worrying is the growing trend of clearing fertile virgin lands outside the cities for building purposes. There have been recent reports in a section of the media indicating a “mad rush” for the purchase of lands by estates developers in the West Region after the oil discovery in the region. These developers are not to be blamed as they are envisaging an accommodation deficit in the near future due to the oil boom as being experience in Accra. Moreover people living in the Cosmopolitan cities normally have no or little time on their hands to spend on home gardening. 

These phenomena pose a threat to the country’s food security especially in urban areas which has experienced rapid population growth within the last one and half decade.

One important way to meet the huge demand for food in our cities is for all to recognize the need to vigorously pursue gardening. A backyard garden four times the size of an ordinary door, can supply a household of six people with fresh vegetables for a year. By replanting and ensuring that the ground is fertilized well, the four-door garden can be farmed fruitfully for years.

ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

Government therefore needs to create policies that will provide extensive gardening education to encourage people to turn public lands into gardens for people who could not grow their own food at home. City officials also have a major role to play by promoting urban agriculture through the enactment of laws and regulations to protect urban farmers and their crops.

Most importantly, we must utilize our airspace when expanding our buildings and rather turn our underutilized yards into food production gardens to help feed ourselves and families.

By so doing we will not only save money on food purchases and imports but also helps protect us and our families from the clutches of diseases. Of course, gardens will not solve the hunger problem alone but we also need to ensure that Ghanaians living in the citizen have the opportunity to learn how to grow their own food and a space to do it to ensure the country’s food security.

27 Jul 2017

DEVELOPING GHANA’S AGRICULTURAL TRADEMARK

Branding in current times is one of the most discussed phenomena of market research. Brands are recognized to provide quality to customers, distinction within a market and financial gains to an organization. A successful brand leads to a permanent trademark.

 

 The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a ‘a name, term, sign, symbol, design or a combination of all, intended to identify goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers’. A brand can be characterized as a product, corporation, person and place.

Branding is a marketing concept that aims at increasing a product’s (goods and/or services) perceived value to the customer with the aim of encouraging purchase and consequently increase frequency in repeat purchases leading to increased sales (thus increased profits) and customer loyalty.

 

Organisations engage in building brands because the benefits of branding are enormous. According to Bernhardt et al. (1991), branding among others helps to confirm credibility of either the product or the organization where the product originates, it increases ease acceptance of an institution and its products, minimizing the activities for curbing competition.

 

Branding also helps in penetrating in a new market or a new market category, and also a source of demand and the competitively superior quality image justifying premium price.Branding, therefore, has become a very significant concept in just about all businesses and the agricultural sector is no exception.

 

The world market for agricultural products has been growing rapidly during the past years. In spite of this huge demand, products from developing countries like Ghana continue to face rejection from developed countries who are the major purchasers or importers of our produce.

 

According to Professor Eugene D. Jaffe and Israel D. Nebenzahl in National Image & Competitive Advantage (2006), "in general, American consumers are more receptive to products from developed countries and less so from developing countries.”  However not everyone agrees with this statement as Thomas Cromwell, President of East West Communications in Washington, DC. He believes that “because agricultural products are natural, and people associate quality with natural factors, such as climate, soil quality, and organic growing methods, the positive association with agricultural products has little if anything to do with the overall level of development of the country from which they come,”.

 

Experts believe that branding a country’s agricultural produce will go a long way to erase the negative perception the Western world has against agricultural products coming in from developing countries. Although agricultural commodities are harder to brand than manufactured products, there are nevertheless success stories for developing-country-based agricultural brands.

 

Take for instance, a developing country like Brazil which has one of the most advanced agricultural branding programs than any developing economy in this world. Through its vigorous branding programmes, the country has been able to promote its coffee industry which has contributed positively, not only to the nation’s economy but its image as well.

 

Due to the enormous benefits being accrued from the promotions for Brazilian coffee, the country has also instituted a number of branding programs for theBrazilian beef, Brazilian fruit, Brazilian chicken, and wines.Theseagricultural products are being exported many to other developing countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia. Russia for example is the main buyer of Brazilian pork meat, while Egypt is the main importer of Brazilian fresh beef, the Middle East in general is the biggest market for Brazilian poultry and sugar, Algeria is the main buyer of Brazilian dairy products, China is the biggest importer of Brazilian soy beans, and Iran is the main market for the Brazilian corn.

 

Brazil has been able to chalk all these successes in its agriculture sector mainly because of the importance it placed on branding these produce either by adding value to them or emphasizing its quality and distinctiveness from all other agricultural produce in its regional bloc.

 

Ghana could draw great lessons from branding acumen of Brazil to its agricultural products since a well-known, well-branded agricultural product can do a great deal to help build a nations economy and create a permanent trademark. The development of branding and marketing strategies to promote Ghana’s agricultural products internationally is imperative. To complete this, the planting for food and jobs agenda in the right direction, will offer myriad opportunities to explore strategies in developing the agriculture sector.

 

The successes in branding the country’s agricultural sector can be said began decades ago with the cash crop Cocoa. Even though Côte d’Ivoire remains the world’s largest cocoa producer, producing almost twice as many cocoa beans as Ghana, Ghanaian cocoa beans can sell at a significant premium on the London and New York futures markets, owing to their high quality. It is also a known fact that our Golden Tree Chocolates are the most sought after chocolates in some markets around the globe because its superior quality and taste. 

 

However, Cocoa is not the only crop which can contribute fiscally to the country’s economy. Our starchy staples such as cassava, yam and plantain which according to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the country is self-sufficient in, can contribute significantly to the economy if they are branded well to attract both regional and global consumers. Building these products into world class brands means we have to place emphasis on adding value to these raw products and their packaging to be accepted and patronized by consumers. It is thus timely that the current government wants to introduce the 1 district 1 factory initiative. This venture will enable Ghana process or refine these staple foods to meet regional and international standards.

 

The Food and Agriculture Show (FAGRO)has begun that journey to brand Ghana’s agricultural sector to the outside world.  FAGRO provides a platform for Agricultural stakeholders: small holder farmers and agribusinesses to showcase their ideas, products and services to their teeming publics, thereby reaching out to new business frontiers and increasing their knowledge in modern technologies.

The FAGRO platform has over the last seven years contributed immensely to highlighting the visibility of the country’s agricultural sector to the investment community both locally and internationally. So far the FAGRO brand and for that matter, Ghana’s agricultural sector has become known in countries such as Burkina Faso, Spain, the Netherlands and Russia.

It is an underlining factor that the country’s agricultural sector suffers from public under investment especially from financial institutions due to its unprofitability nature. FAGRO is however leading the crusade to change this perception and brand the country’s agricultural sector as a viable industry which must be tapped into by all actors of industry.

We believe that by making FAGROa household name across borders, our objective of branding the country’s agricultural sector to develop a permanent trademark can be achieved.

 

Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa

General Manager – National Food and Agric Show (FAGRO)

20 Jul 2017

SPEECH DELIVERED BY VICE CHAIR SECTOR – Association of Ghana Industries (AGI)

Fatima Alimohamed 

A very Good Afternoon Respected Dignitaries, His Excellency the Vice President Honourable Dr Bawumia, Honourable Regional Minister and the Ministers office Representatives, FAGRO representatives, Agro Industry Players, Emerging Farmers and Producers; Representatives of Agricultural Unions; Officials from all spheres of Government; Association of Ghana Industry reps, Respected members of the media Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am Fatima Alimohamed, the Vice Chairperson of the Association Of Ghana Industries Agriculture Sector and the CEO of African Brand Warrior. I fly the flag for the African Continent and stand infront of you alive today thanks to the farmers who put food on my table.

I am honoured and delighted for the opportunity to step in on behalf of the AGI CEO for the launch of the FAGRO 8th Edition of the National Food and Agric show whose focus is Northern Ghana, a region we all know is the bread basket of supplying most of the Nations food products to the commercial markets in the south.

I extend a warm welcome to all the participants and pray that we maximise this opportunity through constructive dialogue and communication to arrive at a commitment to create a sustainable front with the capacity to influence policies through lobbying and advocacy. We are grateful to FAGRO for providing this platform.

We cannot predict the outcome of human development. All we can do is like a farmer; create the conditions under which it will begin to flourish. We invariably find that we all share common goals, and that when we listen to each other with open minds we can resolve any differing views. We must all arrive at the big question of how can we take part in this process and support the decision makers in the various programs launched by the Government, such as the Planting for Food and the One district and One factory for this is in the interest of this Nation and the Soil we call our motherland.

In 1956 when various African countries began to seek independence, the continent was self-sufficient, food secure and on the whole, a net exporter of food. Today, Africa is mostly hungry and it is the most food-insecure Continent. It is instead a net importer building other Countries industries instead of our own.

This situation is getting worse not better. In the Millennium Declaration the world's governments promised to halve hunger by 2015, we are now in 2016 and have the Sustainable Development Goals now facing us for another 15 years. The fact is there are now more people living with constant hunger than there were when the promise was made. Developmental Goals are derived from an aspect of moving from a historical perspective to a better change. Historically we were known to have chickens and cows in our backyards for meats and milk. But instead of developing forward we moved backwards.

We chose to be import dependant for our milk and meats leading us today to suffer from the diseases that used to be known as the rich man’s disease - Cancer – to now a disease we hear of so often on the Continent and in Ghana due to the antibiotic and chemically dressed foods in order to withstand the long journeys on high seas to get to us.

This utter failure on our part to even reduce hunger, let alone halve it, is a condemnation of existing international and national government policies on agriculture and food security. Change is needed and it is needed fast and the focus on Agriculture programmes by the Government has come in at the perfect time. It is commendable and we must support it. It is vital that farmers and producers have a voice in determining policies that affect their own lives on fundamental issues. They bring a wealth of knowledge, understanding of local contexts and diversity of ideas.

Whilst, the Government has given its full support and backing to Agriculture, we in the agric sector and the populace at large must endevour to do all we can to support the initiatives and ensure that the attitudes and mindsets of the common man also changes to make this a success. Sowing the seeds in the minds first will help the journey that will lead to sustainable, poverty alleviating jobs being created.

Ghana’s trade imbalance continues to widen up with massive imports as against limited export trade. An example is the imports of rice at close to 600,000mtns against our own 150,000mtns or Tomato Paste at close to 12000mtns in the first quarter yet whilst our tomatoes rot. The situation is a pivotal contributory factor to the craze for major international trading currencies, translating into the past recurrently depreciating cedi. Export earnings in the country are heavily dependent on cocoa and a few largely unprocessed commodities. We need to diversify into other crops.

Unfortunately agriculture in most countries in Africa is substantially under-performing relative to its potential, and Ghana is no exception. This is mainly due to a lack of investment in the sector in terms of infrastructure, technological and human resource development, and the sustained growth of biological and physical capital. As we embark on the One District One factory path, we must aim to have the various stakeholders as shareholders in the factories to ensure the benefits of the full value chain of what I call the ‘Soil to Pot’ Journey. If a farmer is a shareholder, he then knows his role in ensuring that he doesn't outprice his raw material as ultimately the success of the factory is in his hand too. By making everyone in the value chain a shareholder we build a larger community of entrepreneurs. This is also a great way to engage the youth who are today’s agripreneurs. Have them come on board with their technologically savvy know how and watch the transformation to modern farming yield results. Great examples exist based on the principle of a sufficient economy, which is what Thailand was built on.

The Government has shown that agriculture is a priority and has the intention to see a visible growth of the agric sector as a percentage of the GDP. As per the budget, Agriculture sector recorded a growth of 3.6% in 2016 against a 3.5% target the same year, however the services sector continue to be the larger contributor with 54% to the GDP in 2016 whilst Agric’s contribution to the economy dropped from 23% in 2012 to 20% in 2016. This is sad when we compare to the 70% bracket in the 80’s and 90’s.

Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (Feb. 2015) reports that in 2013 the highest agricultural export earner was cashew nuts and oil seeds, accounting for more than half of the US$306.11 million worth of fresh agricultural product exports and cashew is the highest non-traditional export earner.

 God looked down at all he created and said he needed a caretaker for this world so he made the farmer. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops such as rice, palm, cocoa or cashew, but the civilization and perfection of human beings. We have a moral obligation to our fellow citizens. There are a large variety of agricultural crops cultivated here in the country with enormous economic usefulness, but they are yet to catch the attention for the needed support to unearth their full-scale potentials. One such crop is the Cashew Nuts.

Ghana can emerge to rival Brazil, India and Vietnam as a premier exporter of processed nuts. It is said when a person gets treated like a patient, they are apt to become one. This is what the situation is like at the moment. We have 13 processing plants of which 10 are shut down. We are happy to report that finally our push to have a public private partnership 10year development plan has finally got its wings with a signed MOU between Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the Cashew Industry Association of Ghana and has the full support of the Ministry of Agriculture.

It was also said; investing in Agriculture for Economic Growth and Food Security is a golden step to Ghana's development. Ultimately a nation that cannot feed itself will always be hostage to the interests of those who feed it.

Africa’s population is expected to increase to 2 billion by 2050 if current demographic conditions remain constant indicating that future demand for agriculture production will be immensely larger than it is at present. In short, Africa and more so Ghana needs to double its overall production to meet the future needs of its population. Our focus needs to be on other emerging crops other than Cocoa. The growth of Indonesia and China in terms of cocoa consumption has led Indonesia to revisit their strategy on Cocoa and they are on a mission as a Country to double their capacities. Indonesia grew almost no cocoa before the early 1980s, when production took off like a rocket. Now it is the world’s third leading producer of cocoa beans. Whilst back here at home our cocoa sector is facing certain setbacks. Incomes of cocoa farmers are being undermined by the then depreciation of the Ghana cedi apart from other issues. We may soon be left disappointed when the carpet is swept from our under our feet and we have no other crop to depend on.

The Cashew, Palm, Fruit and Cash crop Industry is critical for sustainable development and poverty reduction, and growth in this sector can be a powerful means of achieving inclusive growth and still holds much promise and potential. The One District Once factory plus the Planting for food and jobs will spiral productivity and rural employment that can offer increased income to the poor and provide food security and income diversification to the vulnerable communities.

It is said once in our life, we need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and ofcourse a preacher. But everyday we need a farmer and when a farmer is poor, so is the whole Nation. To those that work in acres and hectares and not in hours … we thank you.

In conclusion: -

Let the farmers continue to farm

Let Government continue to govern; and

Let Industry provide investment and markets.

 

So far, we seem to be on the right path and journey.

Wishing all of us a very fruitful exchange of views.

God bless Ghana and God Bless our farmer and land.

20 Jul 2017

ADDRESS DELIVERED B YTHE NORTHERN REGIONAL MINISTER, HONORABLE SALIFU SAEED

Mr. Chairman

Your Excellency the Vice President, Alhaji Dr.Mohamudu Bawumia,

Chairman FAGRO,

Distinguished Invited Guests,

Our Friends from the Media,

Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am happy to be here today, as the host of his year’s National Food and Agric show-2017.in the next three months, I will have the pleasure of welcoming you all to the Tamale Jubilee Park-venue of this year’s National Food and Agric Show. We are in the Northern Region, just can’t wait.

Ladies and Gentlemen, when I approached officials of the FAGRO Secretariat with a proposal to host this year’s edition in Tamale, I was influenced by His Excellency the President’s resolve to give impetus and fresh life to the agricultural sector with the successful launch and commencement of the planting for food and jobs initiative, which is set to open up the sector and create job opportunities for many.

I am here to inform all Ghanaians that the northern regional capital, Tamale and the Jubilee Park in particular is in expectation of the throng that will make it to this event

We, in the northern region are hopeful that the upper east and west regions as well as the Brong Ahafo region will produce a greater percentage of the participants as the venue is much closer to them.

Ladies and gentlemen, from the 26th to 30th of September when the event will hold, the northern region will be the centre for attraction as everything agriculture, from seeds to yields, machinery, technology and information on prevailing best practices will be on display at the tamale jubilee park.

The platform provided by FAGRO for the national food and agric show is not only important; it is also a major networking opportunity for participants and patrons alike. I took part in last year’s edition held at the trade fair centre in Accra and I was personally blessed by the abundance of knowledge sharing that hallmarked the event.

 

I participated in the business writing seminar held on the sidelines, and I must say their facilitators from IE Singapore and Africa Lead did a good job. The icing on the cake for me was that, after the training, I emerged the first runner-up in the business plan writing contest organized to round off the session. It was a very useful learning curve for me personally.

This is another reason the northern regional coordinating council finds the platform provided b FAGRO and its partner institutions like the ministry of agriculture a fitting one, to show case Ghana’s agricultural story from the northern part of the country with the aim of encouraging the necessary investment and patronage to that side of the country for all round national development.

I wish to ensure officials of FAGRO Secretariat and other partner institutions, the ministry of food and agriculture and all will be participants that tamale will be awaiting anxiously to roll out the best of northern hospitality to make the event a historic one. We shall meet in tamale.

We are grateful to FAGRO team, Yara Ghana, Africa Lead, DDp,  John Deere, Thee kingdom of Netherland and the Ministry of food and Agriculture and of course the media for the keen interest and support you have shown towards this event.

 

Thank you very much and may God bless us. 

20 Jul 2017

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF YARA GHANA, MR DANQUAH ADDO-YOBO

Theme: Creating Jobs in Agriculture –Northern Region in Focus

Speech by Danquah Addo-Yobo, Managing Director, Yara Ghana Limited

H.E The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, The Honorable Minister of Food & Agriculture, Hon Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, The honorable Northern Regional Minister, Hon Salifu SA-EED, the chairman of NFFAWAG(National Farmers and FISHERMEN Award Winners Association of Ghana) Mr. Davies Narh Korboe, invited guests, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, and all other protocols observed. Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank in 2015 in an article on the subject ‘Unlocking Africa’s potential to create wealth from agriculture’wrote –‘there is an unbelievable contrast today in Africa: how can a continent with such an abundance of arable land, water and sunshine annually import food worth USD35billion?... This must change’.

The Ghana situation is not very different from this observation about Africa. The theme for FAGRO 2017(8th National Food & Agric Show) :CREATING JOBS IN AGRICULTURE –NORTHERN REGION IN FOCUS –is also about creating wealth from agriculture in the Northern Region.

For the youth to go into agriculture, it must be profitable. This starts with farmer profitability, which can be attained by enhanced productivity of the farmer. To achieve this, the farmer needs to get the right inputs at the right timewith the right technical support. In thisdirection, the Yara Crop NutritionSolutions which focuses on targeted fertilizer protocols for targeted crops will ensure the farmer makes the best yield to enhance his profitability. This has been tested through collaborative demonstrations and research with SARI (Savanna Agricultural Research Institute) and other research institutes and on field demonstrations with farmers with proven results. The government’s Planting for Food & Jobs Program is a laudable program which among other things is targeting providing inputs – fertilizers, the right seeds, chemicals, and extension services-to farmers. These are critical to ensure the profitability of the farmer.

The inputs must be accessible to the farmers in the hinterlands where most of the farming takes place. In the Northern Region alone, Yara Ghana, works with over 150 local partnersin the fertilizer and inputs distribution chain, thus creating jobs and also making fertilizers and other inputs accessible to farming communities. There is also more to be done in this area, and Yara is committed to continue its drive to support the agriculture value chain. This will create jobs In the entire value chain.

In the area of technical support, yara Ghana is committed to augmenting the effort of the Ministry of food & Agriculture’s extension services, which is one of the key focus areas in the governments planting for Food and Jobs Program. We have 13 agronomists covering the three Northern Regions conducting farmers clinics, farmers field days, demonstrations and training farmers on best farming practices.

To sustain the farmer profitability and create jobs in the agricultures value chain, there need to be a ready market for the farmers’ produce. There is also the need for financial institutions to have an appetite for financing the agriculture value chain.

Yara Ghana is proud to be associated with FAGRO’S drive this year on the theme: ‘Creating Jobs in Agriculture- Northern Region in Focus’. We recognize the private sector is crucial to make this happen and we have a long term commitment to support this laudable agenda. Thank you

20 Jul 2017

ADDRESS DELIVERED B YTHE NORTHERN REGIONAL MINISTER, HONORABLE SALIFU SAEED

DURING THE LAUNCH OF THE 8TH NATIONAL FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL EXHIBITION AT LA PALM ROAYL BEACH HOTEL ACCRA ON TUESDAY, 30TH MAY, 2017

Mr. Chairman

Your Excellency the Vice President, Alhaji Dr.Mohamudu Bawumia,

Chairman FAGRO,

Distinguished Invited Guests,

Our Friends from the Media,

Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am happy to be here today, as the host of his year’s National Food and Agric show-2017.in the next three months, I will have the pleasure of welcoming you all to the Tamale Jubilee Park-venue of this year’s National Food and Agric Show. We are in the Northern Region, just can’t wait.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, when I approached officials of the FAGRO Secretariat with a proposal to host this year’s edition in Tamale, I was influenced by His Excellency the President’s resolve to give impetus and fresh life to the agricultural sector with the successful launch and commencement of the planting for food and jobs initiative, which is set to open up the sector and create job opportunities for many.

Ladies and Gentlemen, when I approached officials of the FAGRO Secretariat with a proposal to host this year’s edition in Tamale, I was influenced by His Excellency the President’s resolve to give impetus and fresh life to the agricultural sector with the successful launch and commencement of the planting for food and jobs initiative, which is set to open up the sector and create job opportunities for many.

I am here to inform all Ghanaians that the northern regional capital, Tamale and the Jubilee Park in particular is in expectation of the throng that will make it to this event

We, in the northern region are hopeful that the upper east and west regions as well as the Brong Ahafo region will produce a greater percentage of the participants as the venue is much closer to them.

Ladies and gentlemen, from the 26th to 30th of September when the event will hold, the northern region will be the centre for attraction as everything agriculture, from seeds to yields, machinery, technology and information on prevailing best practices will be on display at the tamale jubilee park.

The platform provided by FAGRO for the national food and agric show is not only important; it is also a major networking opportunity for participants and patrons alike. I took part in last year’s edition held at the trade fair centre in Accra and I was personally blessed by the abundance of knowledge sharing that hallmarked the event.

I participated in the business writing seminar held on the sidelines, and I must say their facilitators from IE Singapore and Africa Lead did a good job. The icing on the cake for me was that, after the training, I emerged the first runner-up in the business plan writing contest organized to round off the session. It was a very useful learning curve for me personally.

This is another reason the northern regional coordinating council finds the platform provided b FAGRO and its partner institutions like the ministry of agriculture a fitting one, to show case Ghana’s agricultural story from the northern part of the country with the aim of encouraging the necessary investment and patronage to that side of the country for all round national development.

I wish to ensure officials of FAGRO Secretariat and other partner institutions, the ministry of food and agriculture and all will be participants that tamale will be awaiting anxiously to roll out the best of northern hospitality to make the event a historic one. We shall meet in tamale.

We are grateful to FAGRO team, Yara Ghana, Africa Lead, DDp,  John Deere, Thee kingdom of Netherland and the Ministry of food and Agriculture and of course the media for the keen interest and support you have shown towards this event.

Thank you very much and may God bless us. 

 

20 Jul 2016

SYNERGISING CROP NUTRITION AND MECHANISATION FOR FOOD SECURITY

Global population growth during the second half of the twentieth century, its attendant urbanization and industrialization in Asia and to some extent in Africa, has led to greatly increased demands for mechanised farming and sustained bumper harvests, necessitating the application of high-yielding fertilizer as a boost to efforts at global food security.

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20 Jul 2016

CHANGING THE FACE OF AGRICULTURE TO ATTRACT THE GHANAIAN YOUTH

Growing up, it was commonplace to be bombarded by both family and strangers with the question “what do you want to be in future?” and such occasions were great opportunities for us to demonstrate how ambitious and determined we were. Should it happen that our parents were with us during these encounters; you would notice them beaming with pride and satisfaction as they

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20 Jul 2016

SALVAGING AGRIC’S DWINDLING FORTUNES

Salvaging Agric’s dwindling fortunes

A self sufficient nation as often described, is the one which cultivates and produces what her nationals live on. This thrives on the practice of growing what a people eat and canning what they cannot. In such an arrangement sufficiency is assured and waste of any form is kept in check.

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