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Our hard working and suffering farmers are greeted on the occasion of this year’s National Farmers day, which is instituted to remember the contribution of farmers to our economy and national wellbeing and celebrate unique contributions of specific farmers who have distinguished themselves.
We are wondering what majority of our farmers have to show for all their efforts, toil and pain on a daily basis. We are also reflecting on the status and situation of agricultural development in Ghana. As we do that we believe there are lot to be desired in our efforts at agricultural and agribusiness development and improvement in the lot of farmers:
1. Farmers need to do a lot to come up out of the smallholder and subsistence situation in order
that they can provide own and family food and nutrition security and sell off for livelihood and
sustainable income. Baring this they need to reflect on alternatives and diversification out of
farming into other more productive and sustainable livelihoods and income sources in the rural economy other than subsistence farming, including other positions in the agricultural value chains.
2. Government needs to have more robust policy environment, comprehensive and coherent
policies to enable agricultural and agribusiness multistakeholders and players, especially farmers to be more productive, profitable and sustainable in such a manner as to positively affect food and nutrition security and contribute to our economic development in more significant ways than it has been all these years. It is our hope that the bane of food imports will be an issue of the past.
Teething challenges including land, finance, markets and rural infrastructure need to be seriously addressed by government than ever before so farmers’ efforts will be more meaningful in our National life.
3. We at the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana (CAG) are contributing our quota in these very challenging circumstances as private sector efforts in order to be able to have more to show for it than we have. Our evaluation is underway to see how we can improve the contribution of the Chamber.
4. We call for more coordination of farmers and their organisations, in the face of the current
fragmentation. There is need for Farmers Coordination Council (FCC) made up of leaders of all the various National Farmers Organisations, Agricultural Cooperatives and Producers Organisations.
This effort need to be inclusive. CAG has taken an initiative in this direction by calling for National Farmers Summit, 19-20 March, 2019 to enable National farmers’ organisations, Agricultural Cooperatives and Producer Organisations to be able to deliberate on improving coordination for policy advocacy and impact.
5. It is our hope that 2019 will be significant milestone in farmers’ efforts for a better future.
6. We also call on all major donors to the farmers day especially Agriculture Development Bank to
find innovative ways to invest in National Best Farmers award winners so the award could reflect and be beneficial to the country at large and thereby providing a sustainable financing module for future farmers awards.
Once again we salute all farmers of Ghana.
God Bless Ghana
God Bless all Farmers in Ghana
God bless the Agribusiness Community
Mr. Anthony Selorm K. Morrison
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Chamber of Agribusiness-Ghana (CAG), Accra