Agric Essential to Ghana’s Export Earnings – BUSAC Fund
The agricultural sector in Ghana is important to Ghana’s export earnings and also serves as a major source of input for the manufacturing sector, Nicolas Gebara, Fund Manager for BUSAC Fund, has said.
According to him, the sector has the potential to become one of the leading sectors and become an engine for growth as well as a reliable source of job creation in the West African country.
Speaking at a forum organised by the African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE) in partnership with the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in Accra, he said: “In March 2017, the BUSAC Fund was approached for the first time by African Business Centre for Developing Education seeking support to forge a closer collaboration between government, academia, and industry for socio-economic development. The fund considered the idea as a highly laudable proposal, unique in its nature and fully aligned with the objectives of the fund.
“With the risk of knowledge economy and globalisation, the job market has become evenly highly competitive. The recurring demands of skilled and specialised manpower from the industrial sector, are not being met, as a large section of graduates from academic institutions of higher learning lack necessary critical thinking and analytical skills required by the industry.
“ABCDE engaged highly in the public private dialogue activities aiming at increasing its alignment and partnerships between government, academia and industry. Efforts were successfully deployed in promoting partnerships between universities and institutions with Ghanaian industry.
“ABCDE engaged highly in public-private dialogue activities aiming at increasing its alignment and partnerships between government, academia and industry. Efforts were successfully deployed in promoting partnership between universities and other research institutions with Ghana industry. ABCDE has identified the mismatch between the number of white-collar jobs available to graduates and the large number of graduates coming out of the country’s universities and technical institutions.
“Agriculture in Ghana is important to Ghana’s export earnings and a major source of inputs for the manufacturing sector. It has the potential to be one of the leading sectors and become an engine for growth and a reliable source of job creation.”
The forum, under the theme: “Commercialisation of Scientific Research, Promoting Youth Employment in Agribusiness” brought together stakeholders to discuss how to identify commercial opportunities in the agribusiness sector to ensure that it becomes a source of employment for the youth.
Also speaking at the event, the National Coordinator for Youth in Agriculture, Klutse Kudomor, said agriculture has remained a central driver of Ghana’s economy.
According to him, the sector employs 35 per cent of the active labour force and has also served as a major source of revenue for the government.
He said: “For instance for a sector that employs 35.95 percent of the active labour force and a major source of revenue for the government, a substantial growth is likely to have a huge impact on the economy.”
Mr Kudomor noted: “In 2015 Ghana’s total revenue growth from non-traditional exports alone amounted to 2.522 billion us dollars.
“Ghana provides public supports for agribusiness. With emphasis on the role of the ministry of food and agriculture (MOFA). The importance of agribusiness has been increasingly recognised over recent years. With different organisations providing support to the agribusiness usually through programmes and projects.”
He also urged graduates to take advantage of the agribusiness.
“Agribusiness is also emphasised in Ghana’s trade policy, with ministry of trade and industry playing various roles in the sector.
“The ministry of trade and industry (MOTI), the Ghana export promotion authority, (GEPA) the council for scientific and industrial research (CSIR) and other public organisation are implementation specific programmes to enhance agribusiness development in Ghana, in collaboration with the partners.”