The National Food and Agriculture Show
27 Jul 2018

Elders Of Nungua In Full Support Of Ban On Fishing Activities

Elders Of Nungua In Full Support Of Ban On Fishing Activities

The elders of Nungua have thrown their support for the ban on fishing in August, this year by the Government to allow for the spawning and breeding of the fishes.

The elders at a news conference at Nungua addressed by Nii Borteyfio Borteykwei Afafi-Nsro II, the Nungua Nkpor Mantse on behalf of the Agborbu Wulomo, the Overlord of Ga-Dangme State said the ban had come as a result of scientific research and must be adhered to.

Nii Afafi said it was prudent for all Ghanaians, especially the fisher folks to abide by the directives by the Government so that after August Ghanaians could assess the outcome of ban to inform future decisions.

Mr Joshua Bortey, the Municipal Chief Executive for Krowor in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the country's fish stock was at risk and that the measure taken to ban fishing in August was in the right direction to help increase the stock.

The Government through the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture has imposed a ban on all fishing activities from August 7 to September 4, this year in the country to enable the fishes to spawn and breed to increase the stock of fishes.

The directive had sparked mixed reaction among the people, especially the fisher folks.

The elders of Nungua have thrown their support for the ban on fishing in August, this year by the Government to allow for the spawning and breeding of the fishes.

The elders at a news conference at Nungua addressed by Nii Borteyfio Borteykwei Afafi-Nsro II, the Nungua Nkpor Mantse on behalf of the Agborbu Wulomo, the Overlord of Ga-Dangme State said the ban had come as a result of scientific research and must be adhered to.

Nii Afafi said it was prudent for all Ghanaians, especially the fisher folks to abide by the directives by the Government so that after August Ghanaians could assess the outcome of ban to inform future decisions.

Mr Joshua Bortey, the Municipal Chief Executive for Krowor in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the country's fish stock was at risk and that the measure taken to ban fishing in August was in the right direction to help increase the stock.

The Government through the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture has imposed a ban on all fishing activities from August 7 to September 4, this year in the country to enable the fishes to spawn and breed to increase the stock of fishes.

The directive had sparked mixed reaction among the people, especially the fisher folks.

27 Jul 2018

Land Zoning Urgently Required in Ghana for Food Security

One of the major disincentives to agriculture in Ghana is the complete disregard for Land Use (Zoning) policies.

Most of the hitherto farmlands are been sold to Estate developers thereby leading to a complete disinterest in starting this farming enterprise all over again.

It seems almost every family wants to buy land to build without considering the limited land size of the country. The challenge is known to policy makers but nothing has been done about it so far.

Considering the size of land required for plantations, it will be unwise for farmers (most of them without the capital to start an acre of farm) to sink their start-up capital into an outright purchase of farm lands.

Zoning Farmlands. Photo Credit: SyeComp

The food basket of Accra used to be Weija, Bortianor, Ablekuma, etc. Now, such places and beyond have become places of residence.

Groital Farms, located at Nsakye, off the Nsawam-Aburi road is about an hour and half journey from the capital, Accra. The intention is not to talk about Groital today but to shed light on the happenings on our neighbouring farms.

One of our neighbours has had to relinquish his farmland of about 100 acres to the owners who intend selling to Estate Developersbecause he did not have money for outright purchase. This guy in question owns the biggest pineapple plantation in the area.

I was hurt to see earth moving equipment clearing farm lands. The simple thought that came to mind is, WE MAY SOON GO HUNGRY AS A PEOPLE if care isn’t taken. It starts with ignoring such oversight responsibilities. The District and Municipal Assemblies have more serious roles to play in this regard and Land-Use policies must be enforced.

Frank Sam-Addo

11 Jun 2018

Online Forum for Women and Youth in Agriculture Launched in Accra

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has supported the setting up of a multi-stakeholder Online Forum for Women and Youth in Agriculture.

Its objective is to encourage youth and women to act as catalysts for sustainable rural development and to provide an open channel to discuss ways to equitably include youth and other marginalized groups into agricultural value chains and emerging agribusinesses and agro-industries.

This event was recently launched at the British Council in Accra.

This launch event brought together a range of national and international stakeholders from across the private sector, government, NGOs and academia, all of whom shared an interest in increasing the involvement of women and youth in agriculture in Ghana.

The Online Forum  is expected to help stakeholders engage in fruitful interactions on specific themes and share knowledge and information on opportunities for involvement of women and youth in agricultural investment.

To join the online discussion platform to learn and/or contribute to thematic discussions, please visit:

https://dgroups.org/fao/womenandyouthagrinvest

For further support, contact the administrator of the forum via email: Micheal.Ige@fao.org

 

19 Apr 2018

Genetically-modified Maize Could Address Fall Armyworm

Genetically-modified Maize Could Address Fall Armyworm

Research Scientists attached to the Biotechnology Research Programme (BRP) of the Crop Research Institute (CRI), have advocated the development and use of genetically-modified (GM) maize to deal with the devastating effects of the fall army worm infestation in Ghanaian farmlands.

Professor Mrs. Marian Quain, Leader of the BRP, said studies had shown that genetically-modified maize with in-built disease-resistant genes had the potential to withstand the harmful effects of the pests.

The fall army worm detected in Ghana some 15 months ago, had since infected more than 20, 000 hectares of farmlands, causing the country loses to the tune of about US$64 million.

Prof. Mrs. Quain, who was addressing a seminar jointly organized by the CRI and National Biosafety Authority (NBA) at Fumesua in the Ejisu Municipality, said the conventional agricultural system had become fraught with varied challenges.

This is due to the changing climatic conditions, overpopulation, excessive use of pesticides and insecticides, as well as urbanization which had resulted in the destruction of farmlands.

The Principal Research Scientist said it was appropriate that the nation facilitated the processes for the acceptance of GM-related technology in plant breeding and crop production to enhance food security given the emerging threats to agricultural productivity.

The seminar, targeting agricultural researchers, extension officers, plant breeders, seed growers, environmentalists, health experts and the media, aimed at sensitizing the participants on genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

Topics treated included 'Africa's Agricultural Sector Challenges and GMOs', 'Producing Transgenic Plants', 'Steps in Modifying an Organism', 'Transformation of Plant Tissue', 'Genetic Transformation Procedure' and 'Following Biosafety Guidelines'.

Prof. Mrs. Quain said the Biotechnology Research Programme would continue to engage policy-makers and stakeholders for the adoption of GM-related technology to address agricultural concerns.

She cited how countries such as Burkina Faso and South Africa had made huge gains to address food insecurity, using this technology to their advantage.

Prof. Emmanuel Otoo, a Principal Research Scientist of the CRI, said as a country hoping to improve its food stock, science and technology remained the most important factors to realizing the aspirations of the people.

Mr. Eric Okoree, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NBA, advised the people to erase their minds of the erroneous impression about GMOs because the nation could no longer rely on the traditional agricultural practices to feed the growing population.

GNA
By Stephen Asante, GNA

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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