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Agriculture research policy summit explores investment priority areas

Accra, Aug. 17, GNA — The U.S. government’s
Feed Initiative has hosted Agriculture research policy summit to share findings
on evidenced-based policy recommendations with Ghana’s Ministry of Food and
Agriculture, state agencies, development partners, research institutions and
the private sector.

The summit explored how government could adopt
proposed policies recommendations by researchers in formulating policies that
would help eliminate constraints facing the private sector.

Adoption of the policies and recommendations
is expected to help government create the enabling environment for increased
investments in Ghana’s agriculture sector to ensure long-term growth.

Mr William Quitoo, Deputy Minister of
Agriculture, said at the opening session on Tuesday that “research is a public
good” that uses public funds to bring out the results and should not be allowed
to go waste.

He said government would study the findings
and recommendations and make the necessary stakeholder consultations to guide
it to implement robust policies that would move the country from food
dependency to self-sustainability.

“Research is a public good, taxpayers money
are used to fund it, so there is no reason to allow research results to go
waste, !” he said.

Mr Quitoo expressed worry that Ghana was once
an exporter of food imported $600 million worth of rice in 2015/2016,
describing the situation as “unacceptable and dangerous” for the country.

The Summit was held under the theme:
“Supporting effective and efficient Agriculture policies through research” to
strengthen Ghana’s agricultural policymaking process.

USAID/Ghana Acting Mission Director, Steven E.
Hendrix highlighted the importance of using research and data to inform policy
making and expressed the agency’s readiness to continue helping Ghana’s
Agriculture Ministry.

“USAID supports the Ministry of Food and
Agriculture with research and policy analysis, and builds the capacity of
public and private organizers to closely monitor and evaluate agriculture programmes,”
he said.

“Where policymaking is concerned, we believe
research is a critical component to creating the most effective agriculture
policies,’’ he added.

The conference organised sought to boost
agricultural research and support policies based on relevant and quality data
to foster sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Walter Nunez-Rodriguez, Chief of Part, APSP,
said the research addressed four concerns in agriculture areas which were
fundamental to the government and added that the research was in response to a
holistic policy.

The researched areas included – production,
productivity and food security; agricultural extension and knowledge sharing;
agriculture marketing; and sustainable land management.

GNA

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