Koforidua, Dec. 05, GNA-The Ministries of Food and Agriculture and Fisheries and Aquacultural Development have organised an agricultural fair and exhibition highlighting Ghana’s strength in food production for both domestic and international markets.
The fair and exhibition event, themed « Accelerating Agricultural Development Through Value Addition, » was one of the activities commemorating this year’s National Farmers’ Day.
The event highlighted the benefits of boosting agricultural activity in various regions, as well as the need for agricultural advancements, equipment, and products.
Mr. Moses Anim, Member of Parliament for Trobu Constituency and Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aqua-cultural Development, addressed participants, saying the fair opened the opportunity for networking.
He expressed satisfaction with the display of several products from the fishery sector, including fish species for fish farming, and infographics of fishing activities, as well as the provision of education on fishery-related issues.
He also said sustainable value addition generated more revenue, jobs, wealth, and foreign exchange, all of which contribute to the prevention of post-harvest losses.
Mr. Anim stated that the Ministry, in collaboration with stakeholders, has developed a national fishery and aquaculture development strategy that will run from 2023 to 2027, with the goal of accelerating aquaculture development while ensuring environmental sustainability and safe fish consumption at reasonable prices.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, also stated that the agricultural fair was added to the farmers’ day activities to promote up-to-date agricultural-related information and technologies that will aid in doubling farmer incomes and attracting investors to the agricultural sector.
It was also intended to raise farmer awareness of new improved varieties developed by research institutions, as well as to sell quality seed and planting materials.
Furthermore, he said, the exhibition aimed to provide first-hand experience with agricultural products through demonstrations and uncommon contact with innovators, as well as exposure to new opportunities for partnerships and networking in agribusiness.
Dr. Akoto highlighted some of the accomplishments of the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme (PFJ), which was launched in 2017, noting that it has increased production of important commodities such as maize and rice since its inception.
The introduction of the PFJ was intended to ensure food security, increase job opportunities, particularly for young people, supply raw materials to industry, and promote agricultural exports.
However, some stakeholders have repeatedly expressed concern about systemic problems such as fertilizer smuggling and high input costs.
It was suggested that the country’s 16 administrative regions should consider holding similar fairs and exhibitions twice a year to boost agricultural transformation.