The government’s flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs has largely sustained the country’s food economy, the Director, Plant Protection Services for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Mr Eric Bentsil Quaye, has said.
He made this known at the 7th International Trade Show and Conference in Accra yesterday.
He said the ministry was intensifying efforts to reduce the importation of fertilisers by encouraging private sectors to invest in organic fertilisers and other inputs.
That, according to him, would help individuals in the agricultural sector invest more in their production to boost food security.
Mr Quaye indicated that the MoFA was undertaking measures to provide adequate warehousing facilities ahead of the harvest season to prevent losses of products during post-harvest.
“All these measures are intended to boost production and increase volumes of the outputs from farmers and producers,” he added.
He urged private investors to take advantage of the trade show to invest in small businesses and in the agricultural sector to ensure the availability of food.
The Managing Director for Fairtrade, Paul Marz, said the event, aimed to help increase West Africa’s self-sufficiency and improve supply, was hosting 20 countries and over 90 exhibitors.
These countries included Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Germany, Belgium, Iran, Italy and Netherlands.
Others were the United States of America, Poland, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka among others.
He said the three-day trade show would exhibit plastic products, heavy machinery, beverages, herbal products, natural honey, dried fruits and cocoa products.
“The show is on agriculture, food and beverages, technology, food ingredient, food and hospitality, plastics, printing and packaging,” he added.
Mr Marz commended individuals who were interested in the industry to invest in the agriculture sector to curb the massive importation of food products in West Africa.
According to him, West Africa’s food import has reached $ 16 billion and export was $14 billion, also food and beverage technology import increased by 5.8 per cent annually.
“That is why there is a need for more investment in this sector to reduce importation to Africa,” he said.
A participant at the event, Diana Banuro-Acolatse, the Project Manager for Integrated Tamale Fruit Company in an interview with Ghanaian Times said the trade show was a good opportunity for them to exhibit their products and link up with international and local investors.
The trade show was partnered by MoFA, the Food and Beverage Association of Ghana, Ama Plast, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the Ghana Enterprises Agency and the German corporation.