The Government of Ghana has introduced variety of measures to improve agricultural productivity in Ghana. Notable amongst these is the redefining of the outdated Food & Agricultural Development Policy (FASDEP I) in FASDEP II to address the loopholes and inefficiencies in the former.
In each subsequent update of this blog, we will look at each policy document and delve on some of the issues and strategies for achieving them.
POLICY 2: INCREASED INCOME AND REDUCED INCOME VARIABILITY
Activities to increase income will include helping farmers to expand into cash crops and livestocks, and to increase the value of all commodities, including their by-products.
- Agricultural generally brings in lower earnings compared to other sectors of the economy
- Incomes from indigenous staple crops, livestock and fisheries are not growing compared to crops that can be exported (food crop farmers have the highest poverty rate).
- Seasonal production cycles and prices lead to big swings in income
- Not enough attention is given to developing value chains and products (e.g ‘graded quality standards do not exist for most agricultural products)
- Lack of knowledge about post-harvest practices and how to manage food stocks contributes to product losses and thus income loss
- The heavy workload of female farmers and producers ( compared to males) lessens their productivity and earnings
- Poor farmers (female & male) have limited access to key resources (land, credit, information and technology)
Certain crops will be promoted because they grow well in Ghana and there are markets where they can be sold: mango, cashew, oil palm, rubber, plaintain, citrus, vegetables, small ruminants ( sheep and goats), and poultry. Indigenous staple crops and livestock species produced by the poor can be commercialized through linkages to industry. Urban agriculture will be promoted as a sustainable way for poor migrants to make a living. Expansion into new crops (“diversification”) will be tailored to the needs and capabilities of different categories of farmers.