Consult Agric folks during policy formulation-Agric Economists

Ghana Agriculture News-The Ghana Association of Agricultural Economists (GAAE) says “there is urgent need for government to dialogue with experts and practitioners in the field of agriculture and agribusiness before national agricultural policies and programs are implemented”.

The Association believes this when done will ensure that such policies and programs benefit from the rich experiences of their membership who are experts in different areas of agriculture and agribusiness.

This suggestion forms part of recommendations they made to government in a communiqué after the association’s 4-day National Conference last week held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

The Association also recommends periodic dialogues between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and a Technical Committee of experts from GAAE and other stakeholders to review the implementation of ongoing government agricultural programmes and policies with the view to offering practical suggestions to address teething challenges.

Members of GAAE believe that a national agribusiness policy is long overdue and ask that government takes immediate steps to develop and publish one to guide the direction of agribusiness activities in Ghana. GAAE says it is ready to play a lead role when the initial steps are taken by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The Association is also strongly advising the government to take the issue of food and nutrition security very seriously. According to their communiqué, the issue of food and nutrition security “has assumed acute importance in our country due to the extreme profit motive of most entrepreneurs in the food business. The need for periodic dialogue among policy makers, agricultural experts, nutritionists and entrepreneurs in the Ghanaian food value chain has become more important now than ever”.

They emphasize the urgent need to strengthen the teaching and learning of agriculture and agribusiness in academic institutions to respond to industry demands. To make this a reality, GAAE suggests a strong partnership between industry (private sector) and academic institutions in the training of agriculture and agribusiness students to ensure that the future generation is well equipped to identify business opportunities along the agricultural value chain in order to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.

“We, the members of GAAE, believe that implementation of the content of this communique would catapult the development and growth of Ghana’s agriculture and agribusiness sector to create the needed jobs for the youth of the country”, the communiqué stated.

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