Sunday , 29 January 2023

Agric Minister begins tour of Northern Ghana

Mumuni Dassah Issah, CEO of Abu Dassan Ventures explaining issues to the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto and his entourage

The Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has begun a tour of northern Ghana.

The tour which is the last leg of the minister’s regional working tours he started early on this year, will take him to the Upper West, Upper East, North East, Savannah and Northern regions.

It comes on the heels of the celebration of National Farmers Day last Friday, December 2, 2022. Accompanying the minister on his tour are national directors of the MoFA.

Addressing a staff durbar and stakeholders at the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council in Wa on Monday, December 5, 2022, Dr. Owusu Afriyie said he had already been to 11 regions, adding that “I am in the northern part of the country now to check agriculture matters; it is going to take about a week.”

Agric Minister begins tour of Northern Ghana

“I make it a point to visit each region in the country every year with all my directors to see how policies made in Accra have impacted on farmers outside Accra,” he explained.
From the Upper West, the minister and his entourage will move to the Upper East region.

On the issue of shortage of inorganic fertilisers, he reiterated that it was a global issue, hence he entreated farmers in the region to adopt organic fertilisers.

Dr. Owusu Afriyie explained that the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Market is an intervention by the government to help bring down the soaring prices of foodstuffs on the markets.

“Prices of foodstuffs in the urban centres are ridiculous. We’re in the middle of harvest and prices of foodstuffs are expected to be reduced but it’s not so! We had to intervene, and honestly the PFJ Market [initiative] is doing well. We want to cut down prices of foodstuffs,” he stressed.

From the Regional Coordinating Council, the minister and his entourage visited farm fields including Abu Dassan Ventures, the agro processing company dealing in groundnut paste, Tombrown, ‘banku’ mix, and ginger powder, among others.

Agric Minister begins tour of Northern Ghana

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the minister’s visit, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Abu Dassan Ventures, Mumuni Dassah Issah spoke of plans to get the company’s products to every part of the country.

“Bono East is where our sales are most generated. We are looking forward to ensure that our products get to every corner of the country,” he stated.

According to him, his company has advanced measures to collaborate with the MoFA “So that some of our products will be given space on the PFJ Market.”

“Our major challenges are lack of personnel, funding and infrastructure. We are appealing to the authorities to assist us with loan facilities at considerable interest rates to help us expand production and bring on board new projects,” he appealed.

Early on, the Upper West Regional Director of Agriculture, Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah gave a presentation on the state of agriculture in the region.

He underscored the fact that agriculture is the main source of livelihood for inhabitants of the Upper West region, revealing that the sector employs about 80% of rural dwellers in the region.

“The farmers mostly produce staple food crops such as maize, rice sorghum, wheat, millet, cowpea, groundnut, yam etc…,” he noted.

He added however, that shea butter, ‘dawadawa,’ mango, cashew and cotton remain major economic crops grown in the Upper West, along with livestock farming.

Mr. Sasu Yeboah indicated that both the PFJ and the RFJ were boosting farm yields in the region compared to previous years.

“Availability of the soya bean thresher has boosted soya been production and I can say Upper West Region can produce soya for export.”

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