Agriculture is critical in alleviating poverty in Ghana- Mahama

Jun 27, 2016 at 1:20am


President John Mahama says investing in Agriculture and Agri-business is critical for pulling majority of Ghanaians out of poverty.
He further said the SADA Zone holds the key to eradicating poverty thereby transforming the lives of people living in the three Northern Regions of Ghana as well as the northern parts of Volta and Brong Ahafo regions has pledged government’s commitment to see the zone transformed through Agriculture and Agri-business.

President Mahama made the assertion during the closing ceremony of a three-day workshop in Accra organized by the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).

The workshop took place at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel from June 21- 23, 2016. It was highly attended by various stakeholders in the Agriculture sector including investors, government officials, Civil Society Groups in Ghana and beyond.

The 3-day workshop dubbed “The SADA Agriculture Investment Workshop” (AIW) was on the theme: “Accelerated Transformation of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone through Agriculture “formed part of measures to eradicate poverty within the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone.

It also seeks to tackle key issues and challenges confronting agriculture sector in Ghana and attract investors into the SADA Zone through Agriculture-led investment drive capable of bringing positive change within the SADA Zone.

Delivering his closing remarks at the workshop, President John Mahama stressed the need for the country to invest more into agriculture as he points it out as the only way out of poverty.

“We need agriculture to grow more rapidly than we currently are doing. This is critical for pulling the majority of our people out of poverty and indeed logical and make sense because still majority of people are engaged in Agriculture and so increasing investment in Agriculture would only be putting our money where our mouths are,” he said.

He further explained,

“When productivity increases, output expansions are predictable, we know that this will make processes possibly the downstream and upstream value chains become more streamlined, this way we can create the jobs that our young people are looking for and we can also substitute the billions of dollars that we spend importing things that we have a comparative advantage to produce.”

Receiving the proposed roadmap from a board member of SADA, Naba Sigri Bewong which spelt out specific investment areas for investors to take advantage of in the SADA Zone, President Mahama pledges government’s support towards full implementation of the document. He announced setting up a body under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture that will solely handle affairs of the roadmap leading to its implementation to the letter.

President Mahama commended the new Management and Board of Directors of SADA including all stakeholders and partners working closely to help eradicate poverty in the Savannah Zone.
He expressed profound confidence in the new Management and Board of Directors of SADA, saying,

“I’m optimistic that they will deliver satisfactorily towards uplifting and realization of SADA’S dreams.”

Country Director of World Bank, Henry Kerali in his closing remark said,

“We see the necessary steps as being focused on business oriented Agriculture system for the north where small-medium and large farmers are in it not because handouts from the government but because they see it as a mechanism to make a living, making of it and to realize development and therefore improve income of the people in the North.”

Mr. Kerali pledges his outfit’s renewed commitment to fully support government in its quest towards full realization of its goals of eradicating poverty in Ghana through Agriculture and transformation of the SADA Zone to improve Ghana.

“Your Excellency, we’ve heard the good work of this workshop and I’m sure not going to repeat that except to renew the commitment of the World Bank to supporting the Government and the people of Ghana particularly SADA Zone to improve Ghana,” he assured.

Source: Ghana/ Wemakor


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