Manifesto – Agriculture

Strategy for Agriculture Transformation

The key elements of the strategy are:

  • Prioritise allocation of financial resources and essential infrastructure to catalyse development in the sector.
  • Provide support for the research institutions and agriculture departments of our universities, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) among others to step up their work on the development of certified seeds, breeding stock and improved farming methods;
  • Strengthen farmers’ groups such as cooperatives and farmer-based organizations (FBOs);
  • Review the block-farming system to make it more beneficial and sustainable;
  • Reinforce the Youth-in-Agriculture Programme as a major component of the agriculture transformation strategy;
  • Focus our industrialization efforts on the provision of incentives for the establishment of industries that have backward linkages to our agriculture resource base;
  • Construct storage facilities, including silos and cold storage units at strategic locations, through a mix of strategies including Public-Private Partnerships, to minimize post-harvest losses;
  • Expand the implementation of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) II and the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP);
  • Support and encourage the private sector to play a greater role in introducing innovations such as financial intermediation, aggregation and barter services, weather and market data online services, extension services and provision of agricultural inputs;
  • Promote the establishment of ‘Agriculture Estates’ to serve as major ‘production units’ of horticulture produce for import substitution, raw material production and for export;
  • Continue to transform the agriculture sector from subsistence farming to commercial, mechanised and irrigation-based agriculture in the medium to long-term;
  • Institute a Young Farmers category of the National Farmers’ Award scheme.

 

Agriculture Mechanization and Farmer Support

The policy will focus on:

  • Expansion of Agriculture Mechanization Service Centres to cover more MMDAs;
  • Establishment of Farmer Service Centres all over the country. The first fifty of these are ready to take off in collaboration with SADA. The service centres will register and measure acreage of all farmers in their catchment area; provide them with mechanization support, agriculture extension advice, subsidized fertilizers, micro credit, and operate a buy-back scheme for the farmers produce;
  • Collaboration with the private sector to build the capacity of individuals and companies and to commission the Technical Universities, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrialisation Service (GRATIS) and Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organization (SMIDO), to manufacture and fabricate basic farm equipment.

 

Agriculture Finance

We will focus on:

  • Encouraging the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) to dedicate an adequate portion of its loan portfolio to agriculture production;
  • Similarly EXIM Ghana will also be encouraged to support agriculture;
  • Providing farming and fishing inputs as well as other agriculture-related infrastructure and services;
  • Introducing innovative and demand-driven crop insurance products to protect farmers against financial risks that emanate from droughts, excessive rainfall and floods;
  • Ensuring that the Ghana Stock Exchange completes the legal framework for the establishment of the Ghana Commodities Exchange and its accompanying Warehouse Receipt System;
  • Revitalising the National Food Buffer Stock Company;
  • Accelerating work on the implementation of the African Union’s ‘Malabo Declaration’ on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods adopted in 2014.

 

Staple Crops

The NDC Government will launch a “Green Revolution” aimed at doubling the output of staple crops, particularly grains and tubers by 2025. This will guarantee food security for a growing population as well as provide the raw material base for implementing our agroindustrial strategy. Within the period, Ghana should become a net exporter of rice and maize, as well as become self-sufficient in poultry, sugar and tomato production.

The goal will be driven by:

  • Facilitating the acquisition of land banks to support commercial agriculture activities;
  • Introducing high-yielding, disease-resistant seeds through support for seed production companies;
  • Making the most efficient use of existing irrigation facilities, as the pathways of climate change remain unpredictable;
  • Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map out soil structures and their chemical composition for the various MMDAs to support districts and, where appropriate, regional specialization in staple food production.

 

Cash Crops:

Cocoa

Over the next four years, we will:

  • Adopt the plantation model under PPP arrangements to increase cocoa production from 750,000 tonnes to over 1.5million tonnes by 2025;
  • Use GIS to map out all farms, particularly cocoa farms to ensure targeted support in terms of fertilizer provision and extension service delivery, alongside intensification of the mass spraying exercise;
  • Continue the provision of scholarships and modernization of roads in cocoa growing areas and other rural communities to facilitate the evacuation of cocoa and food crops;
  • Continue to distribute millions of hybrid seedlings of cocoa per year to small-holder farmers up to 2018 and large-scale plantation farmers up to 2022;
  • Promote the involvement of youth in the cocoa sector value chain;
  • At least maintain the percentage of the world market price of cocoa paid to farmers at the current level of over 70%;
  • Maintain the target of processing at least 60% of cocoa beans produced in Ghana by supporting major chocolate manufacturing companies to establish processing plants;
  • Continue to expand warehousing facilities alongside the implementation of the cropfinancing scheme.

 

Shea nuts

In the shea nut sub-sector, we will:

  • Revitalise the shea nut industry and take steps to ensure increased yields;
  • Provide support services including protective apparel for the female dominated shea nut picking activity;
  • Actively encourage utilization of shea butter locally (domestic and industrial) and work towards significant increase in exports;
  • Replicate the 40,000 tonne capacity shea nut processing plant in the Upper West and Upper East regions and support value addition along the value chain.

 

Cashew Nuts

Given the huge domestic and global demand for cashew nuts, we will:

  • Establish the Cashew Board (CASHBOD), approved by Cabinet, with its headquarters in the Brong Ahafo Region;
  • Support the establishment of Cooperative Producer Associations with technical support from extension officers to expand the production base of the industry;
  • Ensure access by cashew farmers to export finance under EXIM Ghana;
  • Encourage the processing of at least 50% of cashew nuts for export;
  • Operationalize the Cashew Development Strategy to increase production volumes and value-addition activities along the cashew nut value chain;
  • Implement the National Export Development Plan (NEDP) 2016-2020 as it relates to cashew nut production.

 

Cotton

Ghana has the potential to produce 250,000 metric tonnes of cotton in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions. Policy initiatives will centre on supporting 200,000 cotton farmers in the three regions to raise productivity and substantially increase total national production.

In this regard, the NDC Government will maintain the current policy under which it will:

  • Enforce the existing zoning boundaries;
  • Lease the ginneries to the cotton growers;
  • Strengthen and actively support cotton farmers associations;
  • Implement selected interventions along the value chain with the objective of reviving the local textile industry and stimulating demand for their products.

Coffee

The NDC Government through the Ghana Cocoa Board is increasing intends annual coffee production from the current level of about 6,000 metric tonnes to about 100,000 metric tonnes in the short term and to about 200,000 metric tonnes by 2025.

Five million improved coffee seedlings are being nursed and supplied to farmers. This number will be substantially increased annually, to ensure that both the medium and long-term targets are achieved.

 

Oil Palm

Ghana remains one of the major oil palm producers in Africa and has over one million hectares of land suitable for its cultivation. Given the current average output of about six

tonnes per hectare, targeted strategies will be implemented to improve productivity.

As global demand for vegetable oil increases, the NDC Government plans to exploit Ghana’s comparative advantage to become a net exporter of oil palm.

 

Horticulture

With increasing demand for horticultural produce, especially vegetables, fruits and fruit juices, opportunities abound for the production, processing, consumption and export of horticultural produce.

The NDC Government will:

  • Train young people in commercial and modern greenhouse vegetable production;
  • Adopt irradiation technology in the reduction of post-harvest losses;
  • Continue to train out-grower farmers in all processes required under good agricultural practices with emphasis on the harvesting and handling of horticulture crops particularly exotic vegetables.

 

Irrigation

Modernized agriculture thrives on better irrigation systems (powered by solar pumps where appropriate). We will therefore continue to develop efficient irrigation systems to support all-year-round farming. The following initiatives will be undertaken:

  • Efficient utilization of existing irrigation facilities especially in drought-prone areas:
  • Complete rehabilitation of viable but non-functional and abandoned irrigation infrastructure, particularly the Kpong, Tono, Bontanga and Vea irrigation schemes;
  • Implementation of the Accra Plains Irrigation project;
  • Development of the following irrigation projects – Kamba (Upper West Region), Tamne (Upper East Region), Amartey (Eastern Region), Mpruem (Eastern Region) and Wli (Volta Region);
  • Provision of on-farm boreholes;
  • Implementation of measures to promote the use of non-contaminated water for vegetable production;
  • Support for the implementation of the Ghana Irrigation Development Policy of developing appropriate and affordable irrigation schemes, dams and other rain-water harvesting techniques for different categories of farmers and in the various ecological zones;
  • Development of 10,000 hectares for the Nasia-Nabogo rice irrigation project in the Northern Region;
  • Irrigation of 150,000 hectares of land under the Pwalugu multi-purpose hydroelectric scheme.

 

Poultry and Livestock

The NDC government will continue to provide nucleus population of broiler parents as the sustainable source of day old chicks for the poultry industry with the support of EXIM GHANA and other financial institutions. Other initiatives will include support for large-scale production of domestic poultry, the establishment of hatcheries, feed mills and processing plants.

In the other areas of the poultry and livestock sub-sector, the NDC Government will:

  • Diversify the sources of the breeding stock particularly from the Sahel region to support the sustainable development of the livestock sub-sector
  • Support the large-scale breeding and production of guinea fowls to boost the poultry industry;
  • Accelerate private sector investment in poultry and livestock production by leveraging funding for the procurement of poultry and piggery infrastructure, equipment and other processing facilities including slaughtering and packaging;
  • Continue to support the Ghana Broiler Revitalization Project targeted at the production of at least one million broilers per year;
  • Increase support to private sector enterprises involved in animal feed formulation as well as hatcheries.

 

A current threat to the livestock industry is the free range grazing method of nomadic herdsmen. To deal with this threat, we will:

  • Take steps to address the recurring conflict between nomadic herdsmen and food crop farmers, which has had devastating consequences on the production of food crops;
  • Develop a zone in the sparsely populated parts of the Savannah belt with water ponds and barrage dams to relocate cattle herds from the Agogo, Kumawu, Afram Plains and parts of the Eastern Region;
  • Ensure strict enforcement of the relevant laws;
  • Adopt GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to map-out the trails of this transhumance activity across the country;
  • Develop regulations to get cattle owners to adopt the ranch system (fence-in/fence-out) and keep cattle in kraals;
  • Encourage MMDAs to support the establishment of fodder banks in their areas of jurisdiction for the development of livestock as a source of additional revenue;
  • With private sector partnership, revamp the Wulugu livestock project;
  • Continue provision of dugouts in the Savannah zone for livestock watering and small agricultural activity.

 

Fisheries

We will

  • Continue to ensure that Ghana’s fishery resources are protected from encroachment by foreign vessels;
  • Eliminate the use of unapproved nets and unorthodox methods of fishing, including the use of dynamite, carbide, light and poisonous chemicals;
  • Complete the construction of landing sites, cold stores and fishing harbours;
  • Establish alternative livelihood programmes in the fishing communities;
  • Rehabilitate the Albert Bosomtwe Sam (ABS) Fishing Harbor in Sekondi to serve the fishing communities in and around the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis;
  • Complete the construction of landing sites at Tepa-Abotoase, Anloga, Tongor-Dzemeni, Mumford, Teshie, James Town, Keta, Kpando- Torkor and Axim under a West Africa Regional Fisheries Project (WARFP);
  • Complete the fish processing plant at Elmina;
  • Complete the Fisheries College at Anomabo to provide the human resource requirements for the transformation and modernization of the fishing industry;
  • Ensure adequate and timely supply of premix fuel and monitor the proper use of any surpluses for community development initiatives;
  • Improve the timely supply of outboard motors to fishermen at landing beaches;
  • Scale up the distribution of GPS-based fish finders to increase fish catch.

 

Aquaculture

Over the next four years we will:

  • Promote shrimp-farming on commercial basis in the Greater Accra, Volta and Eastern regions to create 76,000 jobs;
  • Provide high-value fingerlings to support fish-farming in selected communities through the rehabilitation and construction of public hatcheries;
  • Continue the nucleus out-growers scheme in aquaculture;
  • Roll out a revolving fund to support aquaculture;
  • Continue the expansion in cage-fish farming on the Volta Lake and other water bodies;
  • Support aquaculture development on the Bui Lake in collaboration with the Bui Power Authority and on other major rivers across the country;
  • Implement the project for fish production at Pwalugu in collaboration with the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority;
  • Ensure the attainment of the Ghana NationalAquaculture Development goal of producing 100,000 tonnes of fish by 2020;
  • Ensure the production of high-value fish-feed in collaboration with the private sector.