The fifth and final edition of the 2022 Citi Business Festival forum was a discussion on ‘Rediscovering the agribusiness gold mine’.
Taking part in the forum were William Nettey- Head of Agribusiness ABSA, Kwasi Korboe – CEO of GIRSAL, Catherine Krobo Edusei, Founder & CEO Eden Tree, Takyi Sraha, COO GIRSAL and Prof. Roger Kanton, formerly of CSIR-SAR.
These are five insights from the forum.
Ghana must take advantage of the potential of rice, soya bean and maize
Prof. Roger Kanton believes rice, soya bean and maize can be the anchor of Ghana’s crop production.
“These are top-notch crops that respond to external inputs,” he said.
Ghana has climate-smart and stress-resistant varieties that can give the country an edge.
“We have produced maize varieties and hybrids more than any other country in West Africa,” said Prof. Roger Kanton.
Policy to help agriculture must be pragmatic
Prof. Roger Kanton stressed that equity can’t be the go-to when trying to develop agriculture.
Instead, Ghana should be eyeing a systematic plan and not be afraid of its bid to take advantage of areas of potential.
“It can be one size fits all. When it comes to policy issues, let’s be practical,” he said.
Banks must be more thorough when lending for Agric
Prof. Roger Kanton, noted that lenders to agriculture need to be more thorough when dealing with potential debtors.
Sometimes creditors are too lax when confronted with persons seeking loans for agriculture.
“You are giving him a loan to farm, and you don’t even know the person… Sometimes those dolling these monies out are doing it through the most inappropriate manner.”
“In America, they give you money, they tell you it is the American people’s money… so they monitor, and they get results. We don’t,” he added as an example.
Health Ministry must help give credibility to local produce
Kwasi Korboe suggested that more stakeholders should pitch in to bolster the agriculture sector.
He proposed the use of the ministry of health to educate Ghanaians “on the nutritious state” of locally produced poultry.
“That could create a market effect and push the industry up,” he said.
ADB must get special treatment from Bank of Ghana
Prof. Roger Kanton believes ADB should receive more support from the state.
“ADB has been left to fight with all other banks on the same level to survive, and yet you are saying they should support farmers. It can’t be done.”
He noted that this will be part of a deliberate attempt to support farmers.
“Bring the loans down for them so they [ADB] can be purely in Agriculture,” he said.