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The Hungarian Embassy of Ghana in collaboration with stakeholders in the agriculture sector of Ghana has held the first agricultural forum at the Hungarian Embassy in Accra. The purpose of the forum was aimed at strengthening ties on how the Hungarian Government can collaborate with the Ghana Agricultural sector for an improvement in the area.
Speaking at the forum, Chairman of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana, Mr. Davies Narh Korboe asserted that, Agriculture still remained the backbone of most third world economies, and Ghana, by extension is no exception.
According to the NFFAWAG chairman, Agriculture has not only been the largest but also, the most important sector in the Ghanaian economy for several decades and is expected to maintain this position in the foreseeable future.
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He observed that Agriculture contributed about 40% of the country’s GDP and employs more than half of the country’s workforce with the majority being smallholder farmers.
He credited past governments for “placing much value on agriculture and all forms of Agribusiness, the latest being government’s ‘Planting for Foods and Jobs,’ ‘One District, One Factory’ (1D1F) which seeks to address the importation of large tons of rice, provide food security to the country, value addition, and also create jobs for the teaming youth of this country.”
Mr Korboe attested that, the demand for poultry products in Ghana as a source of protein has increased steadily over the last three decades and will continue over the next 34 years. These he attributed to increase in urban population growth rates, increasing average per capita income of urban dwellers leading to better purchasing power and increasing per capita meat consumption triggered by a shift in eating patterns from home cooking to fast foods that have chicken almost always as the meat of choice. Most eateries in the cities also find chicken as the most convenient and affordable meat of choice for preparing both continental and local dishes.
Touching On the Fisheries Industry of Ghana
Mr Davies underscored the importance of the fisheries sector to national economic development:
“Fisheries constitute an important sector in national economic development. The fishery sector in Ghana principally comprises marine fishery, inland (fresh water) fishery and aquaculture fishery as well as related activities in fish storage, preservation, marketing and distribution,” he said.
The fisheries sector plays an important role contributing significantly to national economic development in terms of employment, livelihood support, poverty reduction, food security, foreign exchange earnings and resource sustainability and it is a preferred source of animal protein in Ghana, and about 75% of the total domestic production of fish is consumed locally and is expected to contribute 60% of animal protein intake. The per capita consumption is estimated to be about 25kg per annum.
Over 2 million fishermen; processors and traders participate in this sector. These and their dependents amount to about 10% of the population. Fish is one of the country’s most important non-traditional export commodities and the fisheries sub-sector accounts for about 5% of the agricultural GDP. Export earnings from fish and fishery products on average account for approximately 60 million US Dollar annually.
The UN population prospects (medium variant) corroborates the influence of these factors on demand for poultry meat, in that, it projects a global population growth rate of 34% to increase the World’s population to 9.1 billion by 2050 with a significant increase in absolute growth projected at 120% and this could occur with income levels rising to many multiples of what currently pertains today.
In the period the UN population prospect projects global per capita meat consumption to rise from 41kg to 52kh with a corresponding rise from an average of 30kg to 44kg for those developing countries.
Mr. Korboe therefore concluded that Ghana should be poised to implement favourable policies that will take advantage of these factors to improve on the local poultry industry’s market share.
Source: mynewsghana.com//Michael Oberteye//[email protected]