The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has rallied Indian investors and others worldwide to pursue investment opportunities in Ghana's agricultural sector for optimum returns.
"Ghana presents one of the best opportunities in Africa for fruitful and sustainable partnership in agriculture investment. We have an investment climate for agriculture that is hard to beat anywhere in Africa," he said.
Dr Akoto was speaking at the inaugural session of the India-Africa Agriculture and Food Processing Summit 2021, held virtually yesterday, on the sub-theme, "Promoting sustainable partnerships."
The event was to form synergies between countries as part of efforts to bolster productivity in the agriculture sector to strengthen food security systems.
Tracing the bilateral relation between Ghana and India, Dr Akoto said, the foundation was laid by India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Ghana's first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah had since blossomed, resulting in a huge trade and development cooperation programmes in various sectors.
He disclosed that total trade between Ghana and India had shot up about 26 per cent over the last decade from $ 1.2 billion in 2011/2012 to more than $ 4.5 billion in 2018/2019.
He said Ghana's main exports to India were gold, cocoa, nuts and timber products, with gold accounting for nearly 80 per cent of India's total imports from Ghana.
On the other hand, he said, India's major exports to Ghana included pharmaceuticals, agricultural machinery, transport vehicles, electrical equipment, plastics, iron and steel, ethyl alcohol, beverages and spirits, cereals and textiles.
Dr Akoto said the government was convinced that the private sector was key to the country's transformation agenda for agriculture and therefore, strategic partners whose investment along the agriculture value chain is vital for success.
He said the ravaging effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Agriculture worldwide was a wakeup call to build consensus and take action to ensure the sustainability of the entire food system, from production to consumption.
As countries gear up to accelerate efforts at transforming agriculture and the food industry, this summit presents a great opportunity to share valuable experience to inform our response to the global call through the UN Food Systems Summit in September, 2021.
"Fostering partnership with India in the area of agriculture and food processing, is very strategic for the growth and modernisation of our agriculture. No doubt, India is a giant in the field of agriculture and food processing and Ghana certainly has a lot to learn from you", he said.
Dr Akoto said the government has introduced a number of initiatives to modernise and transform the agricultural sector, with the view to ensuring food and nutrition security, raw materials for industry, job creation and increased incomes for farmers and other value chain actors.
He said the initiatives included Planting for Food and Jobs; Tree Crop Development Programme; Tree Crop Development; Greenhouse Technology; Rearing for Food and Jobs, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.
"We are eagerly looking forward to a fertile partnership with India in areas of possible cooperation," he said.