The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) joins Ghanaians in observing Farmers Day. In recognition of the tremendous efforts of farmers across the country toward food security, Ghana celebrates Farmers Day every year. The theme for this year’s Farmer's Day is, “Accelerating Agricultural Development Through Value Addition”. This is buttressed by Sustainable Development Goal 2, “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture".
Arguably, the most important sector of every nation’s economy is agriculture, and Ghana is no exception. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, and according to Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) (2021), the agricultural sector employs about 50 % of the labour force, contributes 19.71% of GDP in 2021, and more than 40% of export earnings. The sector produces food to meet the daily needs of the teeming population.
Ghana’s diversification in the agricultural sector has been advantageous to its economic development. Food crops such as maize, cocoa, cassava, yam, plantain, oil palm and pineapples as well as livestock production, fisheries and forestry products are harvested and reared in Ghana. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (2020), over the years, Ghana has run with many agricultural policies including the Medium-Term Agricultural Development Program (the 1990s), Vision 2020 (1995), Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Development Strategy (ADS) (2000), Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II), Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) (2014-2017) and currently, Planting for Food and Jobs launched in 2017.
Among the challenges of the agricultural sector in Ghana include limited irrigation infrastructure, low investment in agricultural inputs, and export of unprocessed farm produce, which are also enormous opportunities for growth. Value addition is critical to foreign exchange earnings, job creation, and promoting the consumption of made-in-Ghana goods and services, from production to marketing and distribution. A good number of citizens, both private and public have begun value-addition such as Blue Skies, an EU-funded Gari factory in the Bono Region, Cocoa Processing Company Limited, Nkulenu Industries, and GTP Textiles.
It is against this backdrop that the NCCE hails the assiduous effort of all farmers, especially small-holder farmers. The Commission also urges all Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Private Companies to support our farmers who put food on our tables every day. The government cannot do it all, government is you and I. Let’s take Ghana to the world through value addition.
Ayekoo Our Gallant Farmers!!
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