By Julius K. Satsi, GNA
Accra, March 14, GNA - Stakeholders in the agricultural value chain have converged in Accra to validate the proposed Ghana Agricultural Engineering Policy and Strategy (GAEPS) aimed at promoting agricultural mechanization.
The GAEP, when fully adopted, would help to enhance food security, promote consistency in environmental conservation practices and safety measures.
The stakeholders are drawn from the Ministries, academia, farmers’ groups, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the National Planning Commission.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, commended the FAO for providing technical support for the development of the GAEPS.
He said the use of rudimentary farm implements with the associated drudgery and telling effects on the health of farmers, tended to discourage the youth in Africa from venturing into agriculture.
Agricultural engineering technologies had revolutionized the sector in other continents - America, Europe and lately Asia and that should be the path to travel.
He added that, all the stakeholders now recognized the need to strategically and consciously increase mechanisation right across the agricultural value chain.
The government was eager to modernize the country’s agriculture through mechanization.
Mr Benjamin Adjei, a Representative of FAO, said the policy and strategy if well implemented would facilitate the modernization of the agriculture sector, increase food production, enhance the supply of raw materials to industries, create more jobs, reduce poverty, and hunger.
The successful implementation of the policy would drive government’s flagship programmes – “Planting for Food and Jobs”, and “Rearing for Food and Jobs”, to achieve the expected impacts.
Mr Adjei said the FAO was committed to supporting agriculture interventions, including promotion of sustainable agriculture mechanisation towards enhancing food security, good health and livelihood.
The Organisation was of the firm conviction that agriculture mechanisation was critical to Africa’s ambition to end hunger in the continent by 2025 as stated in the Malabo Declaration of 2014.