The Citizen Watch, one of the leading think tanks in the country, has commended the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) for the food efficiency it achieved last year.
The think tank says MoFA’s record of higher yields last year was due in part to the good weather conditions the Ministry’s effective distribution channels and extension services.
“The effective input distribution was achieved through the electronic biometric registration which has currently registered over 500,000 farmers throughout the country and also linked with mobile money services.
“This means that about that 500000 farmers are now using the mobile input acquisition platform which is to help farmers reduce stress, acquire relevant information on good agriculture practices, weather, quality input, markets tendency, among others,” Citizen Watch said in a press statement.
The think tank has, therefore, urged the government to increase the farmer biometric registration to cover about 2.5 million farmers as well as expand the extension services to achieve higher yields this year.
Citizen Watch is of the view that there is a need for the government to zone the country and establish commodity centres in areas such as Techiman and Wenchi.
The think tank believes this would make industries to spring up and enable indigenes to benefit from the value chain process.
“It will also make the people enjoy the financial inclusion such as insurance for the 2.5 million farmers. This would have a social impact on the economy,” the think tank said.
Citizen Watch has also called on the Bank of Ghana to work hand-in-hand with the Agriculture Ministry to sure effective financial inclusion for these farmers.
Already, Ghana has started exporting part of its food crops to neighbouring countries such as Togo, Cote d’voire among others.
According to the Citizen Watch, agriculture was the mainstay of the economy and played a vital role in the lives of Ghanaians, hence there is the need for government to give credit support to these farmers.
The Citizen Watch is asking the government as a matter of urgency to link the farmer and farmer groups into a reliable out grower programs that would integrate into higher skill commercial supply base for the nation’s industrialization agenda which include the one district- one factory, one village –one dam among others.
The Citizen Watch has also urged the Akufo-Addo led administration to stay very focused on the use of the country’s national resources for the good benefit of the people to get output for the economic growth and development.
For 2018, the biometric registration is expected to cover only 500,000 farmers across the country, which Citizen Watch thinks is woefully inadequate.
Citizen Watch is of the view that the government should scale up the registration numbers before the next subsidy.
This would make the government achieve a lot in fighting corruption in the agricultural sector which would buttress the position of the Vice President, Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia that technology is the path to improve the economy and reduce corruption in the country, the think tank said.