Mr Kenneth Kwamina Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Financing and Leasing Company (Dalex Finance) has tagged Agriculture as the magic ‘silver bullet’ to Ghana’s economic development.
He said, Agriculture employs over 53 per cent of the labour force and propounded that government separate strategies for export and for local consumption.
The Government should provide farmers with technical support – improved seeds and methodology and not just with imported fertilizer.
Mr Thompson stated at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) evening encounter dubbed; “A conversation with Ken, Ghana’s Economy in 2018”.
He however expressed concern about some pronouncement of the managers of the Government’s flagship Agriculture project, “One-Village, One-Dam and ‘Planting for Food and Jobs”.
Mr Thompson noted that the programmes was a well conceived one but the persons in charge of our Agriculture are creating a problem for the smooth implementation of the project with occasional unsubstantiated statements.
“They are claiming an impossible figure of 745,000 full time jobs created in 2017, claiming that the Army Fall Worm canker has been dealt with while experts in our Ministry of Agriculture tell us it will be here for a long time,”.
Mr Thompson urged the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta and the Economic Management Team to face reality on the state of the Ghanaian economy.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Thompson, said Ghana’s major challenge is how to increase agricultural productivity by connecting it to technology and the youth.
“If agriculture is stagnant, industry cannot grow. The main obstacle is the fact that agricultural productivity per man is stagnant, in essence, how do we make agriculture ‘sexy’? Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centres can help to make agriculture sexy, to attract the youth into farming.
“We must also improve rural infrastructure, roads, electricity, telecoms among others,” Mr Thompson stated.
“We must create an environment that would foster and promotes creativity and risk taking. Not every effort would succeed but that is the nature of the game,” he said.
He said in unenlightened circles agriculture and industry are often considered as alternatives to each other, “the truth is that industrialization for a home market can make little progress unless agriculture is progressing vigorously at the same time, to provide both the market for industry, and industry’s labour supply”.
Mr Thompson said measures to increase manufacturing of commodities for the home market deserve support therefore there must be a concentrated attack on the system of growing food in the country, so as to set in motion an ever increasing productivity.
Mr Kojo Mattah CIMG President noted that the institute would continue to lead in the development of world-class marketing professionals and practitioners for effective marketing practice in Ghana.
He said the evening encounter was organised in line with the institute’s mission to influence Government’s policy and regulation on marketing and business.
The CIMG is a leading professional marketing organisation established in 1981 and has since dedicated its activities towards the promotion training and practicing of the marketing profession.