Ghana Can Be Self-Sufficient in Food Production

It is welcome news that the government of Ghana plans to cut the importation of rice by 50% – and we think 50% reduction even in the short to medium term will be a remarkable achievement. – and drastically reduce same to basic imported items.

It’s a step in the right direction albeit long overdue. Once upon a time, importation of food was basically alien to Ghana, but that cannot be said now about the 62-year- old country.

For lack of economic structures and policies to anchor its local agricultural production, the country imports substantial quantities of edible products – from fatty turkey tail (which is banned but still available on the market) to pig feet.

Because existing policies on the land tenure system do not encourage commercial production, large- scale production is compromised.

Acquiring large tracts of family lands for commercial purposes is a herculean challenge. But government must be able to initiate policies that facilitate negotiations of land for commercial production.

After all, government has applied eminent domain policy in roadway and other developments of national importance.

Ghana, like so many African countries, is blessed with fertile lands, and food production is not the problem.

Policies and their implementation, such as subsidies on farm equipment, financial support, liberal and low-interest rates on loans, coupled with environmentally friendly laws that would encourage local entrepreneurs into large- scale farming, must be reviewed or revised.

Once the needed regulations are enacted and effected, a small percentage of commercial farmers can abundantly feed the nation and export their surplus.

Importation of commodities available on the local market must then cease. It makes no economic sense, nationally, to import sugar, chicken, and even fish instead of infusing resources in these commodities for local production and consumption.

While we’re at it, we must quickly add that the Ghanaian propensity to anything foreign must change. Ghana was once self-sufficient in maize production and is currently self-sufficient in cassava production.

The Operation Feed Yourself project initiated by the late military leader General Acheampong’s regime helped produce enough food, and thereby reduced food imports.

Besides, powerful business merchants in the food business have thus far been able to sweep aside attempts to curtail or abolish importation of certain food items, including rice. Their tentacles can penetrate and infflluence governments.

These arm-twisting business tycoons would not subscribe to local commercial production, and would argue that it is cheaper to import than to produce locally; but large-scale production is a long-term self- sustaining investment that would eventually benefit the nation.

Ultimately, in this age of capital optimization, economic greed, eugenics, and genetically modified organisms, eating foods locally produced not only mitigates the scanty foreign exchange brought about by imports, but also guarantees the health of a nation.

There is no reason Ghana must import basic food. Ghanaians must learn to eat what they grow and government must be willing to ban any food import that is readily available on the local market.

Posted by on Apr 9 2019. Filed under Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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