Over the past decade there have been interventions by the Government of Ghana, Local and International Development Partners to bolster the development of agriculture in the country. In my opinion however, too much emphasis has been placed on the production level in the agrifood system and this does not auger well for the growth of the sector. The recent experience of Mr. Jo Cadilhon, Agro-economist, Policy Trade and Value Chains Program of ILRI in the Lawra and Wa Districts in the Upper West Region can attest to this.
The poor road and food storage infrastructure account for major losses in the sector and year-in-year-out farmers continue to complain bitterly of post-harvest losses. It is really unfortunate that such situation still persist in the midst of all the grant allocation for projects toward addressing various challenges across the agricultural value chain. Is there something missing?
The Northern part of Ghana comprising, the Northern Region, Upper East and Upper West (including northern part of Volta Region and Brong Ahafo Region) has seen numerous agricultural interventions but till date, you can’t meaningfully measure much impact with respect to infrastructural development. Smallholder farmers are unable to store their produce and also the poor road infrastructure affect transport of farm produce to market centres. To talk of mobile phone innovation addressing some of these challenges would be equivalent to milking a he-goat. The prevalence of middlemen in the chain still exist albeit on a much smaller scale. We need to address the infrastructural bottlenecks-good road, excellent warehousing facility! This will go a long way to generate the meaningful impact we so often talk about- improved income and livelihood of smallholder farmers, attractiveness of agriculture for youth and improved food security.
The Time to Think Anew and Act Anew is Now!!!
Solomon Elorm Allavi
GIS Mapping Specialist
Syecomp Business Services Ltd