Panelists appraise Covid Impact, Proffer Solutions
……….As 11th Pre-harvest edition ends in Tamale
Story: Mohammed Abu, ADM, Accra
The 11th edition of the Pre-harvest Conference & Exhibition, ended successfully in the Northern regional administrative capital of Tamale last Thursday with a call on all stakeholders to work towards building a resilient market in Ghana’s agricultural sector.
The annual flagship event of Agrihouse Foundation which was sponsored by YARA Ghana Ltd, Ecobank Ltd, the Agricultural Development (ADB) and numerous other partners, brought together exhibitors, participants and other stakeholders.
Panelists during the corporate, government,development partner panel conversation on Day Three to round off the event,reviewed the impact of COVID on Ghana’s agriculture sector.
They touched on the pandemic’s impact on agricultural inputs supplies, food production and supply value chains, agriculture related financial services provision and highlighted the lessons to be learnt and what strategic actions to adopt moving on.
In other to forestall the impact of pandemics on agriculture and agribusiness in the future, panelists unanimously emphasized the need for local capacity building and working to produce what we need internally thereby reducing the import dependency syndrome, invest more in storage/buffer stock, processing capacities, and building of a resilient agricultural sector.
In her overview of the event, to bring the event to a close, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa,the CEO, of Agrihouse Foundation , the organizers of the event, disclosed that the three-day event had attracted about 3,200 participants, exhibitors, development partners and hoped the Pre-harvest event would go beyond dialogue to materialize into business transactions.
She also noted that the event created the platform for stakeholder engagement and hoped they work to build a resilient market in the agricultural sector.
Representatives of the Yara Ghana and other stakeholders in their various closing remarks unanimously lauded the importance and relevance of the event to Ghana’s development paradigm
Certificates of participation were awarded to various farmers groups while certificates of appreciation were also awarded to the various sponsor of the event
The event which was sponsored by Yara Ghana, Ecobank Ghana Ltd, Agricultural Development Bank and supported by the Agric Ministry and numerous other development partners, was held under the theme, “Working Together to Improve Market Channels for Agri-foods Beyond the Pandemic.”
Earlier in her welcome address during the opening ceremony,Miss Alberta said, the event was to promote sustainable agricultural initiatives, and increase use of innovation and technology to help build modern agricultural sector.
Miss Alberta exhorted stakeholder institutions to work together to enhance financial support for farmers, processors, inputs and allied industries to develop resilient market activities, for food to be affordable and accessible to the people to promote the country’s economy.
She also urged government to build the capacities of players in the agriculture sector to adopt best farming practices to increase their yields and produce quality foods.
The Northern Regional Minister, on Alhaj Alhassan Shaibu,in his keynote address underscored the fact that, “Agriculture is the backbone of Ghana’s economy, and it accounts for over 74 percent of northern Ghana’s employment, yet, the rich and diverse agricultural potential of this region remains untapped.”
He urged the private sector to support players in the agriculture, especially in northern Ghana to enhance food production to reduce poverty.
The Ecobank’s Managing Director, Dan Sackey, on his part said the Ecobank had shown commitment by supporting a farmer-based organization with membership of 1,800 out of which 45 percents were women, to cultivate 1,970 acres of maize to meet supply needs of Yedent group of companies last year, and added that Ecobank’s financing also directly impacted input supplies of weedicides, pesticides, fertilizers, tractors and other farm implement suppliers.
He gave assurance that Ecobank would continue to work with farmers to augment food security in the country