We need gov’t support for Ghana to achieve SDGs’ targets – Kofi Vinyo

Science Agriculture Fair
Science Agriculture Fair

Mr. Kofi Vinyo, the Managing Director of Kovi Organic Foods, has appealed for government funding support for food producers, processors and manufacturers in the Bono Region.

He said the move would help the processor well-positioned them to add value, produce more, sustain and safeguard national food security, create jobs for more people, and thereby push the nation’s efforts to achieving set targets for the Global Goals One, Two and Three, he said.

The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2 and 3 pushes countries around the globe to end poverty, hunger and promote good health and well-being of all people by 2030. Just about eight years to go, Mr. Vinyo said food producers and manufacturers in the country needed processors, storage and irrigation facilities as well as additional capital to be sustained in the agribusiness.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of Agriculture Fair, held in Sunyani, Mr. Vinyo, a physically challenged food processor, said players in the food value chain ought to relate to marketers too.

“We need government assistance in adding value to our produce, boost production, access ready markets to consequently provide employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth”, he added.

The Bono Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) organised the three-day Fair on the theme: “Promoting Market Linkages through Agriculture Fair” and provided a single platform for major stakeholders and agri-businesses in the region to network with potential clients, promote technologies helpful to increasing farm-related incomes.

It also provided updated information to the industry players in the agricultural sector and strategies in accelerating efforts towards the realisation of the modernisation and transformation agenda of the nation’s agriculture sector. Participants included players along the value chain such as local fertilizer manufacturers, fertilizer importers, agro-chemical manufacturers/retailers, agro-processors, service providers, research institutions, consumers and farmer-based organisations.

Mr. Vinyo said his Kwatire-based company in the Sunyani West Municipality was the first tiger nuts powder and oil producer in Africa, adding that the company was getting orders from outside Ghana, and appealed for more funding to produce and process more.

He said tiger nuts powder and oil had higher demand internationally, saying with adequate and extra capital, the company could produce and export enough to widen the nation’s foreign income earnings.

Mr. Vinyo debunked claims that farming was the preserve of the poor, adding that because the sector was unattractive, many enterprising young people in the country were unwilling to venture and invest in that area.

Another area that remained challenging in the agriculture sector, he said, was the lack of funding support or capital to start the enterprise and appealed to the government to prioritise the provision of enough funding for players in the industry.

Mr Vinyo said although the Regional Directorate of MoFA was working hard to link producers with marketers, investors and financial institutions, more efforts were required from the central government to make significant inroads.

He was of the view that with direct intervention from the central government, local and foreign investors would be ready to partner with and invest in food processing and manufacturing for economic growth and development.

Earlier, Mr. Dennis Amenga Abugri, the Bono Regional Director of Agriculture, explained the fair was in-line with the Global Affairs Canada funded Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme, aimed at supporting agricultural services to build linkages and promote efficiency in commodity value change development.

“To this end, the regional Directorate of Agriculture since the inception of MAG has supported various initiatives aimed at addressing marketing gars and promoting market linkages among agricultural value chain participants”, he said.

Towards achieving MAG programme’s milestone, outputs and outcomes, Mr Abugri said the Directorate conducted research, extension, farmer linkages committee programmes and established specific value chains and platforms for stakeholders in the sector.

The Directorate further facilitated the sharing of direct marketing/market intelligence among stakeholders and promotes market-oriented agriculture as well, Mr. Abugri said.

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