Ghana Agricultural News Digest – October 24
Motivating Cocoa Farmers
The government last week announced a new producer price for cocoa as part of incentives to sustain the interest of farmers and motivate the youth to go into cocoa production. The decision to increase the producer price was in spite of the global fall in cocoa prices and, as stated by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, “to further emphasize the importance of the non-oil sector, especially agriculture and for that matter cocoa, which has been the backbone of the country’s economy”. Prior to that, the government, for the first time in the history of the country, had announced a floor price for shea-nut as part of efforts to improve the lot of shea-nut pickers and farmers and develop a profitable shea-nut business. [more]
Cashews in Ghana – Nut cluster
A mountain of bulging jute bags hides the far wall of a vast shed. A deafening rattle comes from the machine by the open door, a green contraption of conveyors and rotating metal drums that sorts cashews by size and drops them into sacks. Amid the din, an engineer (Italian, like the machine) explains how it works. The new factory at Techiman in western Ghana belongs to Rajkumar Impex, an Indian company which processes more cashews than anyone else: 8-10% of the global crop and 20% of Africa’s. Venkatesan Rajkumar, its founder and boss, says that by 2014 he intends to have 18% of the global total. [more]
Ghana Improves in Food Security – Global Hunger Index
Ghana Business News
Ghana is the only country south of the Sahara to have improved on its score in the Global Hunger Index (GHI), according to its 2011 report titled “The Challenge Of Hunger: Taming Price Spikes and Excessive Food Price Volatility”. According to the report jointly authored by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerlife and Concern Worldwide, Ghana and Nicaragua improved from alarming to moderate from the period 1990 to 2011. It says although from the 1990 GHI to the 2011 GHI, 15 countries were able to reduce their scores by 50 percent or more, “only one country in Sub-Saharan Africa – Ghana – is among the 10 best performers in improving their GHI scores since 1990”. [more]
Ghana: Harnessing All Resources to Conquer Hunger
Yesterday, October 16, was celebrated as World Food Day. In Ghana, Oxfam and its partners organized a news conference last Friday in which they highlighted key issues such as hunger in the face of changing climate; rising food prices, population growth, and competition for land from bio-fuel, industry and urbanization. They also focused on the need for constant interaction with farmers and producer organizations on their perspectives on the issues of agriculture development and food security in Ghana. [more]
More Women to Benefit from Rural Women Anti-Poverty Project
Rural poverty in Ghana has been identified to continue to be one of the major socioeconomic problems besetting the Ghanaian economy and the need for pragmatic measures to be put in place to target the rural poor has been underscored. In order to help reduce rural poor especially among women, Global Media Foundation, a human rights and anti-corruption media advocacy foundation has initiated a project dubbed “Rural Women Anti-poverty Project” which aims at empowering rural micro business operators to expand their businesses in order to reduce poverty among rural women. [more]
Assemblies Urged to Give More Support to Women in Agriculture
Addressing a forum on the joint celebration of World Rural Women’s Day, World Food Day and the Global Call of Action against Poverty at Bawku in the Upper East Region, Mr. Nicholas Apekerah, Executive Director of Trade Aid Integrated, urged municipal and district assemblies in the region to act without delay to address issues that limit women’s productivity, especially in the area of agriculture in order to address the problem of food insecurity and poverty.
World Food Day is organized on the 15th of October every year to recognize the contributions of rural women in food security and the development in rural areas. The day has also been set aside by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) to promote food availability and raise awareness of hunger and poverty in the world.
Mr. Apekerah stated that if women were supported with farm inputs and logistics and assured of a ready market for their produce, they would produce enough food to reduce the rate of hunger and poverty. The Municipal Chief Executive of Bawku, Mr. Musa Abdulai, promised the government will continue to do all it could to ensure rural farmers, including women, were provided with all they needed in order to produce enough food to feed their families and the nation.
Source: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 No. 18667, page 16
Set Aside Percentage of GDP for Research
The Chairman of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Professor Eugene Amonoo-Neizer, has called on government to set aside a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for scientific research and development. He said that this was aligned with the African Union’s protocol which makes it a prerogative for members of the body to set aside 1% of their GDP for research in areas that would improve knowledge in science. He said this at a visit to the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), a subsidiary of CSIR.
Prof. Amonoo-Neizer also stated that Ghana would soon get a horticultural institute to make the industry viable. Through government’s intervention, the shea nut industry is now growing fast enough to surpass the country’s major cash crop which is cocoa.
The director of SARI, Dr. Stephen Nutsugah, said the research areas of the institute included crop improvement, soil fertility management, cropping systems, crop protection and post-harvest improvement. SARI is operation in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana.
Source: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 No. 18668, page 21
Emerging Evidence on the Relative Importance of Sectoral Sources of Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa
Purposeful, well-targeted and successful transformation policies will be elusive for a country or region that does not understand the relative importance of its sectoral sources of growth. This study aims at eliciting understanding in this respect by providing an assessment of the relative importance of the major sectors as sources of growth in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Our findings reveal that, contrary to the general belief that agriculture is the most important contributor to economic growth in SSA countries, rather it is the service sector that leads, followed by agriculture and manufacturing.While not discounting policies aimed at strengthening all sectors, the service sector particularly needs to be better positioned to foster sustainable economic growth in SSA countries. [more]