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Monday, 07 October 2013

EU delegation meets the agricultural sector in Ghana

Mr Dacian Ciolos, European Union (EU) Commissioner in Agriculture and Rural Development had the opportunity to participate in a round-table discussion at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on Friday, to discuss the challenges, opportunities and strategies proposed to unlock the economic potential of agriculture development in Ghana. He was in the country as part of his field visit to Africa to evaluate and discuss the development of agriculture in Ghana.
Mr Ciolos said that food security remains a top priority and that the EU was committed towards supporting Africa in taking advantage of the numerous potentials in the agricultural sector for its growth and development.
He added that the visit gives him the opportunity to strengthen the EU's bilateral relations with Ghana.
He reassured that EU was committed to building a strong partnership with Ghana to provide both technical and financial support and to encourage government to improve upon its national agricultural policy.
The EU Commissioner said that Africa must look critically at issues such as improving upon the quantity of production without compromising on the quality and strengthen policies targeting the expansion of the agricultural sector. He also urged government to address issues such as the management of natural resources, biodiversity and soil fertility to expand agriculture in the country.
Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, conveyed although Ghana had made tremendous progress in the past, the growth in agriculture insufficient. He attributed this to challenges such as the huge infrastructural deficits in storing surpluses, deficit in national irrigations for agriculture and lack of funding to support these programmes.
Dr Yemi Akinbamijo , Head of Missions and Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), an NGO working in the field of Agriculture, reported that Ghana was among the few countries in the continent which has registered substantial growth in their agricultural sectors in the past few years. He also called for more coordination between government and its partners and strengthened capacity development of key institutions such as energy and water.
Dr John Kwakye, Senior Economist at the IEA, thanked the EU Commissioner for his readiness to help Ghana to develop appropriate agricultural policy in order to expand growth in the sector.
A new reform of the Common Agricultural Policy has just been concluded in Europe and an Economic Partnership Agreement with West Africa is under negotiation.

Source: Ghana Broadcasting Corporation


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