Agriculture ‘remains key’ for Ghana’s economy

13 August 2020

Agriculture remains key for the Ghanaian economy and should be aided by a subsidy on fertiliser to help increase production, new research has found.

The "Ghana Priorities" project by the country’s National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and international think tank Copenhagen Consensus Centre looked at how the country should prioritise its spending across industries.

Robert Darko Osei from the University of Ghana, said agriculture employs over 40% of the Ghanaian workforce and while growth is shifting towards industry and services, it remains key to the economy.

Agricultural output can be boosted by increasing the area under cultivation, improving the yield, and reducing post-harvest losses, the project found. 

As part of the study, Osei’s team analysed the cost and benefits to yields of improved seeds and fertilizer, irrigation and mechanisation as well as the benefits of warehouses to reduce post-harvest losses.

Research found the most cost-effective solution to be a fertiliser subsidy, which would yield rewards worth four times its cost, Osei said. 

Wisdom Akpalu, dean of the School of Research and Graduate Studies at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), warned that overfishing was in danger of damaging the country’s environment and economy.

He said cost–effective measures of saving the fishing sector included boosting stocks via fish farms through training and subsidies to avoid ecological collapse.

Other measures to save stocks include replacing illegal fishing nets, limiting the number of fishing boats which could operate and installing video devices in trawl vessels to monitor harmful illegal activities.

Peter Quartey, director of the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana, added government support for management consulting services could significantly improve factory operations and processes.

Areas which could particularly benefit included quality control, human resources, inventory, and sales, he said. 

“Every cedi spent on improving management practices would bring a return six times higher than the original investment for large enterprises, and almost ten times higher for medium-sized companies,” said the state-owned Daily Graphic newspaper.

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