As result of the risks associated with Ghana’s agriculture sector, an official of the United States Agency for International Development has called on government to fashion out strategies to lessen these impediments hindering the growth of the sector.
Speaking at the Agriculture Sector Public-Private Ministerial Breakfast Meeting, dubbed: Examining The Risk Factors And Cost Of Doing Business In Ghana’s Agriculture Sector, the Chief of Party, USAID’s Feed the Future (FtF), Agriculture Policy Support Project (APSP), Walter Nunez-Rodriguez said this should enable the private sector to invest with ease and some level of certainty.
Nunez-Rodriguez said this is a major concern to investors when taking decisions on where and what to invest in.
Due to the risky nature of investing in agriculture even financial institutions shy away from lending to the sector and if they do it is at a very high average rate of 30.4 percent.
Aside the high lending rates, the sector is faced with several militating constraints such as the access to finance, land for large investment, irrigation, skills, as well as standardization of the sector. The inability to find solutions to these have continuously worked against agriculture.
Nunez- Rodriguez noted that, “These are the issues that need to be taken into account and come up with an enabling environment so that the ministry de-risks the meaning of doing business.
“Am absolutely convinced that Ghana has not only a potential to develop and unleash the potential in agriculture, but the capacity to develop it into a business.
“If you go round the African continent, you don’t see many examples as Ghana, when it comes to democratic stability, among others.”
He said, “Secondly, you are close to ‘heaven’, where I mean the market in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Middle East countries.”
Nunez- Rodriguez suggested to the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities that the government’s flagship ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme has provided.
The ministerial breakfast meeting organized by Hunger Alliance of Ghana (HAG), under the auspices of USAID, serves as an avenue for the Chamber of Agribusinesses to interact with policy makers on the issues affecting the sector.
By Joshua W. Amlanu