The eighth National Food and Agriculture Show FAGRO 2017 opened in Tamale, Ghana. The government through MoFA pledge to help boost food production and consumption through its flagship programme, “Planting for Food and Jobs.”
The five-day show, which started at the Tamale Stadium last Tuesday, is on the theme: “Creating Jobs in Agriculture – Northern Region in focus.”
The annual agriculture show is organised by FAGRO with support from YARA Ghana Limited, an agro-chemical company.
Some of the activities at the show include an exhibition of agricultural products and services and a boot camp to teach agribusiness.
In a speech read on behalf of the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, by the Minister of State in charge of Food and Agriculture, Dr Nurah Gyele, he said boosting local production and consumption in the country was the way forward in ensuring not only self-sufficiency in food and raw material production, but also job creation and income generating opportunities for Ghanaians.
He said the agricultural sector held great promise for job creation.
Dr Bawumia added that the government had provided a number of incentives which players in the agribusinesses could benefit from.
Some of the incentives for the sector include subsidies on agriculture inputs, tax holidays for cattle rearing, fish and poultry farming, agro-processing and cash cropping and exemption on imported agricultural machinery and equipment.
Dr Bawumia commended FAGRO for helping to improve fortunes in agriculture, adding that the sector was currently undergoing some transformation processes with the introduction of innovation and technology to improve productivity, efficiency and value-added activities.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, said holding the event in Tamale would go a long way to open up the agriculture sector in the region for investment.
The Royal Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Ron Strikker, observed that 50 per cent of Ghana’s workforce was in the agriculture sector.
He added that Ghana spent about two billion euros a year to import foodstuff.
That, he said, could only be stopped if the government stimulated the agricultural sector in the country.
He mentioned some of the initiatives between Ghana and the Netherlands to include the cocoa rehabilitation and intensification programme to increase cocoa production in Ghana and the Ghana Veg programme to promote and improve the production of green vegetables in Ghana.
The General Manager of FAGRO, Ms Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, said the show also sought to attract investors into the food supply chain.