Government seeks India’s support for Agric sector development

…………as it plans to engage 5 million farmers this year

Government has appealed to the Indian government for technology and expertise support for the development of the agricultural sector.

Being one of the key areas, in addition to,  infrastructure, industrialization, energy and youth entrepreneurship, government is seeking to use agriculture to employ some five million people for its flagship programme, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’.

“India is self-sufficient in food production. They do fertilizers and so they can support us with such. Because this year we want move from 200,000 farmers we engaged last year for the Planting for Food and Jobs to five million  people that we have to give subsidized seeds and fertilizers and India has the expertise and ability to help us,” Minister of Business Development Mohammed Awal told Goldstreet Business after a breakfast meeting organized by the Indian High Commission.

Awal touted government’s effort at stabilizing the economy, citing the growth in the country’s GDP by 7.9 percent and the downwards trending of inflation as indications that the country is on the right path of growth.

According to him, government’s efforts at creating jobs cannot be fulfilled without youth empowerment.

“India also has a lot of startups for young people, so with their support we will empower our youth with skills. 120,000 youth leave our universities every year but only 10,000 are absorbed. The remaining 110,000 must be supported, and the only way is youth empowerment so that they do not rely solely on government for jobs,” Awal noted.

“India has experience in all these sectors, especially in the agricultural industry and youth empowerment. So we are asking them to support us with their energy, capital and experience.

On his part, the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Birender Singh Yadav also urged Ghanaian businessmen to take advantage of the economic growth in his country, which has been forecast to grow by 7.3 percent in GDP this year, with a fiscal deficit of 3.3 percent.

“Fiscal discipline has been maintained, there has been a huge national investment in various areas where the government has been able to raise so much money from. If Ghanaian businessmen want to invest in India, these are the figures which gives indication of how big the Indian market is,” Yadav explained.

The breakfast meeting brought together both Ghanaian and Indian businessmen who interacted with officials from both countries on how to take advantage of opportunities present in the two countries.

Also present at the meeting were the Deputy Trade Minister, Robert Ahomka-Lindsey and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, (GIPC), Yofi Grant. They both charged the business community to participate in government’s industrialisation agenda.

By Nana Oye Diabene