The Chamber of Agribusiness-Ghana (CAG) is calling on government to as a matter of urgency set up what they refer to as the ‘Ghana Agriculture Emergency and Disaster Fund (GAE-DF)’ to support farmers and processors in order for them to provide more food for the country.
The Chamber urges government that the “Agriculture Disaster & Emergency Fund” is a necessity, to ensure food security
This, according to CAG, will help Ghana store enough food to supply to the citizenry should the country be hit with food shortages due coronavirus pandemic.
“Countries in the world are currently undertaking State protection policies to support and protect their economies and Ghana must not be an exception.
“This is the time that we must all rally to support farmers to be able to continue to produce quality safer food for the country as a whole”, the CAG said in a press release signed by the Chairman, Mr Anthony S.K Morrison.
Aside from this, the CAG is calling on the government to also set up the Food Security Committee (FSC), that is if it not already in existence.
The FSC, they proposed, should comprise of relevant research institutions, financial institutions, the military and the para security agencies, PPRSD, Crops and livestock division of MoFA, Electricity Company, processors and relevant private sector players and other organizations.
According to the CAG, food security is highly critical and hence its recognition within the MDGs and SDGs as a strong and critically achievable goal for the world.
For this reason, the statement read “CAG is calling on government to profile major food Production zones in the country and priorities resources while embarking on mopping up of other essentials in developing and commercializing Vegetables and underutilized Crops”.
It further adds that “food security crops such as rice, maize, soybean, sorghum, yam, potato, cowpea, cassava, millet and groundnuts should be prioritized for commercial development”.
The Chamber has also called on the Government to offer stimulus packages and other support systems to the farmers in the country.
“The poultry, Livestock and Aquaculture value chains should be included in the stimulus package”, the statement further read.
They further requested the Bank of Ghana to relax its monetary policy so farmers and members within the agribusiness value chain to enable them to access credits to produce some essential commodities for the Ghanaian public.
Meanwhile, the CAG has laid out some other proposals to the Government which they believe, when followed. could help boost the food security in the country.
They recommend a resourcing of the military and other security agencies to enable them move into Major food crops production areas in the country to provide some form of support in the areas of road construction and transport of produce from farms to markets.
Additionally, they again suggest that Agriculture Machinery for land preparations and harvesting should be made available by the state to help such initiatives.
“Warehouses and other storage facilities should be made available to store crops while the buffer stock company to mop up and buy produce for storage for any eventuality”, the statement added.