The United States (US) government is to support Ghana to improve on the country’s agriculture sector under a new initiative dubbed: “Mobilising finance for agriculture”.
The $26 million project forms part of the US government’s global food security strategy which is designed to leverage about $260 million to support the private sector in the agriculture value chain.
This came to light after a closed-door meeting between the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, and the US Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Stephanie Sullivan, when she paid a courtesy call on the minister in Accra yesterday.
Briefing the Daily Graphic after the meeting, Dr Akoto said the American government was prepared to support the government achieve its transformation agenda through agriculture, particularly the flagship programme of Planting for Food and Jobs.
He said the US was prepared to support the cultivation of most of the crops covered under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme such as maize, cowpea, soya beans, mango, cashew and shea nut.
The minister described the discussions between him and the ambassador as frank and cordial, saying that he briefed her about the government’s vision on agriculture which included raking in about $16 billion of export revenue for the country over the next eight years.
“We also discussed how we can be supported to research into developing planting materials for farmers,” the minister said, adding that the ambassador referred the ministry to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for further discussions on the issue.
“The ambassador also reminded us about the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), and how the country could maximise the opportunities it offers,” he said.
On US Peace Corps operations in Ghana, the minister said the ambassador gave an assurance that Peace Corps personnel would be deployed back to Ghana after they were all recalled last year because of the outbreak of COVID-19.
Most of them would be deployed to the agriculture sector where they would employ the use of technology to increase food production, including the use of drones where necessary.
The ambassador further expressed concern about the galamsey menace in the country to which he expressed the resolve of the President to find a lasting solution to.
On the issue of child labour in cocoa farming areas, the minister said the two of them agreed that there was the need for more dialogue on what constituted child labour.