Subsidy is a prerequisite for food security – GAWU

Ghana has more arable land than most Western European countries yet we import agricultural products from these countries. That’s according to the General Agriculture Workers Union.
Despite the fact that agriculture contributes about 34 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product of most African countries’ economies, and shoulders the greatest part of the labour force, it is always inexplicably maligned.
A lot has been said about Ghana’s economy and the need to boost agricultural production to feed the nation, provide jobs for our people, reduce poverty and enhance the nutritional needs of our people.
However the general secretary of the General Agriculture Workers Union, Edward Kareweh has raised concerns about the need for government to put in place subsidies to enhance food production and security in the country.
According to him, it is incumbent on governments not to only provide enough financing for agricultural activities and lay down proper policies in the disbursement of these monies, but also to directly move in to help the farmer at the grassroots with subsidized seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, storage facilities, transport, machinery, and other services that will raise agricultural productivity, and render it more worthwhile both to the farmers and their governments.
He is therefore urging government to provide subsidies for agriculture. This, he argues, will increase the sector’s investment opportunities, which will then stimulate productivity.
‘‘Nothing can be truer than this. It is now the trend the world over for governments to give subsidies to farmers to increase output’’.
He also added that it is not enough for the government to expect commercial banks to fill the gap, as these institutions have their business interests to look after and will not invest in agricultural activities that might threaten their investments.
Edward concluded by calling on government to help create ready market for agricultural product to prevent post harvest losses.
By Desmond Frimpong |3FM 92.7 ||Ghana

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