Dr Kwasi Ampofo was also called upon to give his speech. He said that he was pleased to be part of this program and recalled how it was difficult to get information in the past pertaining to research. He said AGRA was going through a change by developing a new strategy for Ghana.
The strategy sets out to strategise priorities of establishment and prioritise national strives and strategies to serve as a guiding mechanism to help achieve stated objectives.
He said the country faces challenges in the following areas of:
- Climate change
- Inadequate agricultural research
- Limited inputs
- Lack of Agricultural finance
- Poor post-harvest agricultural finances.
Dr. Ampofo noted that research has come out with high yielding varieties but we are not able to come out with measures that would help us get the maximum yield we desire.
Using a good variety and practicing good agriculture, AGRA helps with variety release systems thereby strengthening the value chain, improving market access and also to support farmer organizations.
He reiterated that AGRA is a convener, a grant maker/giver and a knowledge manager. The question was ‘how can AGRA help raise productivity at the farm level’. The answer was simply to build relationships across board so as to be able to spread the good news to near and far.
He said that in the past AGRA invested mainly in Northern Ghana but has now spread its wings to Volta Region, Afram plains and Accra so as to help implement the new strategy of eradicating two million people out of poverty by 2020.
The new strategy entails:
- The use of high quality seeds to improve output.
- Enabling policy reforms for stable foods.
- Access to stable markets and doubling income from the food they produce and sell.
- To continue to work in integrated soil fertility management systems.
He said that AGRA intends to reduce the high Impact of rural population feeding on one dollar per person per day, reduce the number of children less than 5 years who are under weight.
Commenting on Dr. Ampofo’s speech, the chairman commended AGRA for their concern about the well-being of the populace in Africa to reduce poverty and enhance the living conditions in Ghana and West Africa as a whole. He said that this consortium was one out of many in Africa.