African leaders commit themselves to transform agriculture

Kwesi Amissah-ArthurVice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, on Thursday assured Ghanaians of food security through more and active participation of the private sector and the youth in agriculture.

“We’ll continue to provide the right environment for more investment into agriculture,” he said.

The Vice President was contributing to a discussion by African leaders and leadership of international bodies on their commitment to agriculture and the involvement of the private sector in the endeavour.

They also discussed how to empower small growers to drive agriculture into a more productive sector.

The countries featured were Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Benin and a representation from New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

The plenary discussion was part of the Grow Africa Investment Forum- a new regional body at the 23rd World Economic Forum, underway in Cape Town, South Africa.

The discussion became pertinent in the face of the historic shift in private sector investments that create economic opportunity for small-holders and improve food security.

Vice President Amissah- Arthur said Ghana is creating a broad-based framework for agricultural promotion with democratic stability, rule of law, security and improvement in infrastructure.

He called on the private sector to take advantage of the public private partnership to adequately resource small growers to grow more food.

Vice President Amissh-Arthur gave a plus to Ghana’s geographical position to the marketing and distribution of food products within the sub-region.

Other leaders President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria; Joyce Banda of Malawi, Thomas Boni of Benin; and AU Commission Chairperson Nkos Dlamini-Zuma, were unanimous of the need to support small growers and expand access to markets.

“We are committed to transforming agriculture; for us to succeed we need the private sector to succeed,” President Jonathan said.

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, a participant at the Forum, who shared some thoughts with journalists, said the way forward would be to adopt a multi-sectoral approach, with qualitative education, improvement in physical infrastructure, constant water and energy supply, without Government disrupting its social interventions to small scale farmers. GNA

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