Put money in Ghana’s agric sector for good returns –Afriyie Akoto tells investors

Source The Ghana Report

Former Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has urged investors in the diaspora to commit their capital to Ghana’s agricultural sector for good returns.

According to Dr. Akoto, Ghana and the African continent are the world’s biggest hope for global food security by 2050, for which reason investments in the continent’s agricultural sector were the surest bet one could ever make on his or her investment.

Dr Akoto was delivering the keynote address at the African Investors Council Forum in Turkey on June 6  held on the theme “Agricultural Development and Investment Opportunities in Africa (Ghana as a case study).”

He assured investors of the country’s readiness to provide them with a conducive and enabling environment for their investment, stating that “Ghana and Africa are ready to receive your investment in this era of our agricultural transformation.”

Dr Akoto said ”despite the impacts of COVID-19 and the effects of climate change on agricultural production as well as political unrest across the continent, macroeconomic instability, and the raging debt crisis that many African governments face, the agricultural sector offered immense and significant opportunities for transforming Africa’s economy from a net importer of food to the provider of food to the rest of the world.

“It is time we stop perceiving Africa as a “potential” investment destination but as an “actual” investment choice for Regional Trade and Foreign Direct Investments. It is time to create more mutually beneficial opportunities for trade, investment and collaboration with the African continent. To achieve this would require collaboration and political will of international actors to provide a level playing field in global trade – making it fairer and mutually rewarding”, he asserted.

The former Food and Agricultural Minister highlighted the strong foundation he has laid for the West African nation’s agricultural sector, combining policies with regulations to achieve sustained rapid economic growth.

“Under my tenure as the Minister for Food and Agriculture in Ghana, in 2019, I initiated the establishment of the Tree Crop Development Authority under an Act of Parliament, Act 1010 which sought to coordinate and promote the development of six tree crops – cashew, rubber, oil palm, coconut, mango and Shea. The goal of the Authority is to develop, produce, and distribute the selected cash crop seedlings to farmers to produce and generate a combined potential of export earnings between US$6 to US$12 billion per year after 8-10 years of implementation. At their full development, the additional US$6 to US$12 billion per year in earnings can substantially increase the less than US$ 2 billion annual earnings from cocoa, the current highest foreign exchange earner for Ghana for over a century”, he said.

He also spoke highly of the construction of Greenhouse Training Centres with attached commercial units at Dawhenya, Akumadan and Bawjiase for the training of 537 youth in high-quality vegetable production.

“The creation of a Poultry Development Authority, Grains Development Authority (yet to be passed by Parliament) and the Horticultural Development Authority (at Cabinet) and a proposed legislation requiring all commercial banks to increase loanable funds to agriculture and its value chains are all veritable initiatives under my tenure to make the agric sector the brain hub to achieve Ghana’s economic independence and in other words wean itself from excessive borrowing”, he added.

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