The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu is calling on private investors and organisations to invest in adding value to agricultural products before taking them out of the region.
“Our path to self-reliance as a region is value addition in agriculture. We are privileged to be endowed with arable lands and water resources to improve productivity. The Upper East Region is one the regions in Ghana that is fortunate to have the most water resources in this country. For us to effectively harness these resources, we need the contest of value-added agriculture rather than sending our farm products in the raw state for the economic and social transformation of our communities. It is against this background that private investors must partner the government on the industralisation drive; One District one Factory policy. Government cannot do it alone.”
This, he said, when done would allow players in the agriculture value chain to earn more income, expand their production and allow the region to become financially self-reliant. Mr. Yakubu said this when he spoke at the 38th Regional Annual Farmers’ Day celebration in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital.
“Agriculture has been the engine of our economic development which provides a valuable source of employment for the majority of our people; especially in this region. It is therefore proper that we celebrate and duly recognise and honour the tireless efforts of our gallant farmers and fisherfolks for their immense contribution to producing food for the growing populations and industries in our beloved country.”
According to Mr. Yakubu, the 38th National Farmers’ Day Celebration which was hinged on the agenda, “Accelerating Agricultural Development through Value Addition “is necessary because “it is through value addition that our farmers can reap the maximum benefits of their farm products. The current economic challenges could have been avoided with value added agriculture and for us to eat what we grow.”
The need for value addition, is the reason why the Akufo-Addo-led government has implemented a number of interventions aimed at modernising agriculture, value addition, reduce post-harvest losses and industralisation, “notable among them is the PFJ which brought back life into agricultural sector.”
The Regional Minister was however unhappy about the lack of strong private sector support in the region.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana