Ghana is likely to lose out on Africa’s one trillion-dollar agriculture economy if existing trade agreements aimed at improving the business climate of agribusiness is not tackled.
This was made known at the African Agribusiness Leadership Dialogue by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) where stakeholders in the agriculture value chain deliberated on key issues impeding the advancement of agriculture in the country.
Recent trends in Africa provide significant opportunities for private sector-led growth that can stimulate investments and drive rural and agricultural transformation in African countries.
Sadly, existing challenges like poor Agric financing and non-tariff barriers and conflicts impede the growth of the sector.
Speaking at the African Agribusiness Leadership Dialogue, Country Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Abebe Haile Gabriel explained the need for deeper investments in the sector.
“Private investment in the Agric value chain is very important – the more reason why we are partaking of the seminar to build a deeper relationship in the sector.
Deputy Trade Minister, Carlos Ahenkorah believes the advent of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement Area will propel growth in the Agric sector. With 17 per cent intra-Africa trade in 2017 compared with 68 per cent in Europe and 59 per cent in Asia, Mr Ahenkorah says “agriculture will be the engine of growth for Ghana and other African countries.”
Meanwhile, Partner with the East African chapter of KPMG, George Manu, has lamented the low financing for agriculture by banks. As financial institutions raise concerns over the high risks linked Agriculture, George Manu called on the government to explore a way of sharing risks.
“If the government is facing risks when it comes to bank financing, they must also consider other occupants in the vehicle,” he said.
The Food and Agriculture Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. To this end, the leadership dialogue will see stakeholders come out with recommendations on sustainable agriculture investments