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Government urged to cut subsidies in the agriculture sector

By Morkporkpor Anku, GNA

Accra, Aug. 7, GNA – Mr Kofi Venyo,
the Chief Executive Officer of  Kofi
Venyo and Company Limited, a commercial agriculture firm, has called on
government to cut subsidies in the agriculture sector.

He said this would enable farmers to
see themselves as business entities and access credits to operate and improve
on their yields.

Mr Venyo said this in a presentation
during the two-day Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) on the theme: “Building A
Ghanaian Owned Economy, 60 Years After Independence” in Accra.

The event brought together more than
500 local and international business leaders to dialogue and chart a clear path
for Ghanaian businesses to own the Ghanaian economy.

Some strategic issues that were
discussed during the plenary sessions included: Macroeconomic trends affecting
the global economy; the attributes that have allowed emerging market companies
to play an increasing role on the international stage; the rise of the Ghanaian
urban consumer; and the interrelated social and demographic changes creating
new domestic engines of growth.

Speaking on: Supporting the private
sector to provide affordable solution to farmers and creating incentive to
attract youth into agriculture,” Mr Venyo said government should speed up most
of the policies in the sector to continue to improve on agriculture.

He said famers needed training and
capacity building to enable them to produce to meet the demands of the
international market and continue to feed the country.

“Planting for Food and Jobs is a good
concept, which needs to be linked with agriculture modernisation,” he added.

He urged government to train farmers
before the commencement of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative.

The CEO said government needed to
support farmers to venture into value addition and waive taxes on agriculture
inputs.

Dr Sagri Bambangi, the Deputy
Minister of Agriculture, said government was working with the Council for
Scientific and Industrial Research and other players in the seed value chain to
improve on seed production.

He said government would also support
some private seed growers to have improvement in the seed supply in next year’s
farming season.

“With support of all Ghanaians,
government will be able to transform the agriculture sector to continue to feed
the country,” he said.

Mr Richard Nunekpenu, the Chief
Farmer, Anyako Farms, said over the years government had paid attention to only
small scale farmers and that it was time it redirected its attention to the
commercial farms.

He said the ‘wholesale’ support to
the small scale farmers in terms of interventions with the intent to win
election had never been in the best interest of the sector.

“We need to change the idea of
supplying freebies to farmers,” he added.

He said government should view
farming as a business and provide the enabling environment to support in
accessing credit.

The Brazilian Ambassador, Laudemar
Aquiar, said the Brazilian Government had started cooperating with Ghana on
cashew production to add value to the industry.

He said there was also south-south
cooperation between the two countries to support the agric sector to produce
more.   

Thematic workshops would also be held
to enable participants to tap into the ideas of Ghanaian and international
business experts concerning management issues and trends.

Since 2012 the Ghana Economic Forum
had rallied some of the country’s most remarkable minds to discuss, debate and
gain insights needed to advance the economy of Ghana.

GNA

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