The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, on Thursday reiterated the need for potential investors to take advantage of the numerous opportunities in the country’s booming agricultural sector.
The minister said the country’s agricultural sector, over the past five years, had undergone tremendous transformation as a result of the rollout of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiatives.
Dr Akoto, therefore, emphasised the need for investors, both domestic and foreign, to shift their focus to the agricultural sector and explore the vast investment opportunities available in the sector. According to him, the sector had suffered serious investments deficit because it had hitherto been in the doldrums largely due to neglect, stressing however that “things are now different and so agriculture under the current regime has seen total transformation”.
“Ghana’s agricultural sector now provides new areas of opportunities along the value chain for both foreign and domestic investors,” he noted, adding that there were several prospects in the poultry industry, as well as areas of marketing, packaging, branding and advertising which investors could explore. The minister, who was addressing potential investors at a breakfast meeting organised by the Tony Blair Institute of Ghana (BIG), said the huge investments made in the sector had yielded result, stressing that Ghana had become the food basket for the West African sub-region.
“Take soybean for example, before 2017 we were producing less than 100,000 tonnes but today, we are more than quarter of a million, we have quadrupled our rice production and we are net exporter of maize to neighbouring countries,” he said.
Dr Akoto pointed out that despite the fact the production capacities of some food crops such as maize, rice and soya bean had seen significant increases since the rollout of the various interventions under the PFJ programme, the country was still producing below capacity, hence the need for investments,
The minister noted that his ministry has enjoyed a smooth collaboration with the Tony Blair Institute and commended the former UK Prime Minister for providing the platform to interact with potential investors and captains of industries from across the country.
The Former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair on his part, extoled Ghana’s high international reputation which he said distinguished her amongst her peers and said “it was always an honour to visit this country and to interact with its people.” He, therefore, encouraged the government of Ghana to continue to pursue the path of economic transformation through the use of technology and value addition, and also engage in the right dialogue between leadership and the populace.