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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – July 21, 2014

2014 July 21
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Cashew Generated 170 Million Dollars in 2013
The cashew industry generated 170 million dollars in the form of foreign exchange earnings for the economy in 2013. Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister who made this known in Sunyani said the industry is the largest contributor to non-traditional export crops. The Deputy Regional Minister was speaking at the closing session of a five-day master training programme, for stakeholders in the cashew sector, drawn Ghana, Burkina-Faso, Togo, Benin, Cote D’Iviore, Senegal and  Sierra Leone…Mr Adjei said the impact of cashew on poverty reduction and the environment in the Savanna regions has been significant. He entreated investors who are interested in the cashew industry to come into the region and take advantage of the suitable land and vegetation that promote the cultivation of the highly economic crop.

Ghana Must Think Beyond Cocoa - Alan Kyerematen
The Former Minister of Trade under the Kufour administration has said the failure of the country to maximize its export is due to its inability to develop other traditional produce available to it. Speaking at a forum organized by Graphic Business on how to maximize value of exports to improve Ghana’s trade balance, he said “the country has not been able to think beyond cocoa”. Cocoa is the most important agricultural commodity in Ghana and is the main stay of Ghana’s economy and serves as a source of employment for some 800,000 farmers and generates about 2-3 million dollars a year. The commodity is the country’s fourth leading foreign exchange earner, worth about 30 percent of all revenue from export and responsible for 57 percent of overall agricultural export. However Mr. Kyerematen stressed that it was necessary for ….

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – July 14, 2014.

2014 July 14
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Economic Prospects High as $3billion Eurobond, Cocoa Cash Expected - BOG
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Henry Kofi Wampah, says in spite of exchange rate pressures and a decline in major commodity prices, mid-term economic prospects are strong. He said the bank expected inflows of more than US$3 billion from the sale of a third Eurobond this year and receipts from the annual cocoa syndication loan to shore up its reserves in a bid to stem the persistent fiscal and exchange rate pressures… Dr Wampah said the US$3 billion would provide some significant support for the market in the second half of the year.  “These developments are expected to help restore gross international reserves to a minimum of three months of import cover,” he added.

Ghana: Focus on Watermelon Cultivation in the Ada West District
The Ada West District is fast becoming one of the large watermelon growing areas in the country in recent times. The district has always been associated with the cultivation of tomatoes but, this trend seems to be changing as watermelon production is gradually taking over as the most widely cultivated crop. The crop is planted two times in a year; between January and March against the minor rainy season and from September to October during the major raining season. Despite its name, ironically, watermelon doesn't require much water to grow. The flat plains of the district are an ideal place for their cultivation as they do well in low-lying areas. According Mr. Reuben Adase, the Ada West District Agriculture Officer, six varieties of watermelon are grown in the district.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – July 7, 2014

2014 July 7
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
FAO Advice Ghana To Upgrade Agric statistics
Dr Larmoudia Thiombiano, the Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has advised Ghana to improve upon its agriculture statistics to serve as a planning tool for national development. In a statement read on his behalf at a National Dissemination and Advocacy workshop at Koforidua, Dr Thiombiano said it was imperative to integrate agriculture into national statistical system for effective and reliable data for developing of the national economy. He said particularly rural statistics on agriculture was crucial in decision making on support for the masses in any national development agenda. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service and supported by the FAO to present findings of country assessment and medium term action plan of activities for improving agricultural and rural statistics in Ghana.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – June 30 , 2014

2014 June 30
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Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Statistical Service Budgets $20 million for Agricultural Census
Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), is to spend 20 million dollars on the on-going Agricultural Census spanning 2014-2017. Mr. Anthony Amuzu, Director of Survey Organization and Census Directorate, said the census is being undertaken by the GSS and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture with technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). At the Inauguration of the Western Regional Management Team for the period, Mr. Amuzu said to improve upon the process of collecting information in a more comprehensive manner; a “Modular Approach” has been developed by the FAO. He said this means that the activities surrounding the census would have a first phase of data collection, processing, analysis and dissemination to cover 2013 and 2015.

Advocates Ignore Move on GM Bananas
Scientists in Australia think they know better than God what levels of vitamins and minerals should exist in food, and they are on a mission to engineer new varieties that achieve these unnatural levels. Despite the recent failure of genetically modified (GM) “Golden Rice” with artificially elevated levels of beta-carotene, biotechnologists are quietly shifting their efforts to a new GM banana that contains high levels of provitamin A, which they plan to force on impoverished Africans. The UK’s Independent recently ran a story on the GM banana, which its creators have presumptuously announced will reduce blindness and infant mortality in poor children living throughout Africa.

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Ghana Agricultural News Digest – June 23, 2014

2014 June 23
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by Gladys Baaba Arhin

Below are some current developments on Agriculture in Africa:

Agricultural Issues
Government to Increase Food-crop Production - President Mahama
President John Dramani Mahama on Friday hinted that government would for the coming years increase investment on the production of rice, sugar, poultry products and tomatoes. Increasing their production, he added would drastically reduce the importation of those commodities and create sufficient jobs for people that would be engaged in their production. President Mahama gave this hint when Dr Sipho Moyo, Executive Director of ONE Africa, an agricultural campaign group called on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda. The delegation was at the Presidency to inform the President on their campaign activities in the continent and to seek his support to invest massively in the agricultural sector. ONE Africa campaign project is an advocacy Organization of 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa by raising awareness on works with political leaders to combat AIDs and other preventable diseases.

President Mahama Blames IMF,World Bank for Africa's Agric Woes
President John Dramani Mahama has pointed accusing fingers at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for forcing African governments to abandon subsidies for their farmers. "Indeed African Agriculture was affected in the 70s by the policies of the World Bank and the IMF. They came with policies that said that we should allow the farmers to compete. We were made to remove subsidies... while they continued subsidizing farmers in the western countries . The African farmer was left to himself." His comments follow  a meeting with leaders of One Africa, a campaign and advocacy organization who had  called on him to make a case for small holder farmers and transparency in Agriculture budgets across Africa.

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