Head of the Economics Division at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), at the University of Ghana, Peter Quartey, has advocated the need for the government to consider identifying and supporting large scale farmers around the country.
According to him, they will in turn support smaller farmers around them as a way to ensure sustained growth of Ghana’s agricultural sector.
Despite agriculture increasing its contribution to the economy from 19.1 percent in the first half of 2020 to 21.3 percent in the first half of 2021, the Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Report released in January this year pointed to some challenges.
It noted that developments such as delayed rainfall and input supply challenges faced in 2021, outbreaks of Bird Flu disease among other, may lead to a decline in agriculture sector’s contribution to growth in 2022.
In an interview with the media about the agriculture sector, Prof. Quartey noted that when adequately supported the increased food production by the sector will help check the rate of inflation in the country, as food inflation is a major driver of national inflation.
“With agriculture, we’ve all spoken about subsidies and the like and yes we ought to do those, but I think the answer also lies in us identifying a few large scale farmers and supporting them so that they can pull the smaller ones along. If you have a large scale farmer that is able to drag other small outgrowers along you will find that agriculture will really pave the way,” he said.
“And then you ensure you support them through the value chain, not just by providing inputs, irrigation et cetera, but by providing credit, marketing among others. If we do more of that I’m sure we can minimise inflation and inflation expectations,” he added.