By Adu Koranteng
Renowned entrepreneur and chairman of the Tiwala Group of Companies, Wisdom King Adukpo, has expressed concern about the way successive government have neglected local farmers in Ghana.
He stated that though the present government is trying its best through interventions like the Planting for Food and Jobs, One Village one Dam and other planned interventions, there is still a lot to do to raise the standard of living of local small holder farmers.
“Despite the availability of the energetic human and material resources for agricultural production, Ghana is still not self-sufficient in food production and therefore relies on imported food from other countries, he stated.
“One reason for this unfortunate state of our country is that the over 2000 graduates of agriculture and related disciplines who leave college with requisite scientific skills and knowledge in food production do not end up in agribusiness. This is mainly due to lack of access to material and monetary resources, low investor confidence in agriculture and some unfortunate wrong perceptions about the farming enterprise as a whole”, he indicated.
He stressed that “if the government invests more in local farmers, it will help heighten interest in the agriculture sector thereby increasing our food production to reduce import.
“Tiwala Marketing Company Limited is already in talks with the leadership of the Ghana Chamber of Agribusiness to look at the investment role they can play in the agriculture sector. As a commodity trading company, they believe their investment in the agriculture sector will afford them the opportunity to source for some of their commodities in the local market. This, he said will allow them to focus on their new export market”.
“We are not a commodity company that is only interested in importation, what we do is to trade, and for us, the export market is one we are very much keen on exploring. How can there be export if we don’t grow, and how do we grow if we are not motivated?’ He quizzed.
“Most of the food we cultivate locally are grown in the villages and in most part of the Northern regions, yet farming communities remain among the poorest areas in the country with terrible road networks and lack of social amenities. Farmers remain among the poorest people in the country”.
Government and private investors must invest in local farmers in the area of affordable housing, better road networks, portable water and reliable electricity.
He assured that Tiwala group and its partners are always ready to collaborate with government and other institutions to grow and develop the cash crop sector of the economy.