A Professor at the University of Ghana Business School, Lord Mensah has said the perception about agriculture among Ghanaians must change immediately.
He stated that the sector is unattractive to the people especially the youth because of the perception that has been imbibed in them about agric.
Speaking during the 3business agribusiness dialogue on Wednesday, Prof Mensah stated that agriculture is mostly used to punish students when they go wrong.
Whenever a student misbehaves, he or she is given a cutlass to weed and so right there the wrong perception is created, he said.
“It’s about how we have perceived agriculture over the years and we normally punish students with it. We tell them to weed when they flout a rule in school,” Prof Mensah stated.
For his part, Former Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, Naa Alhassan Andani indicated that agriculture in Ghana should been seen as a serious business that has to be supported with the right infrastructural investments.
In his view, Ghana has the arable lands to enable its people produce most of the foods that are needed but are always imported.
The sector, he noted, has not seen much investments.
Due to the low investment, he said, that the country has been living on borrowed resources by relying heavily on import to survive.
Mr Andani said “They say when the tide is low, that is when to know who is swimming naked. We have been living on borrowed time, borrowed resources, oil coming from Ukraine, wheat coming from wherever when we have arable land to do that.
“Apart from banking, I have a background in agriculture… I can say that agriculture is a very serious business, it is a business that has to be supported by significant infrastructure.”
Mr Andani further observed that the agric sector of the Ghanaian economy and other parts of Africa has been exposed by global happenings.
He indicated that Ghanaians consume more than they produce locally. This means a lot more foreign exchange earnings are required to bring in additional food supplies to feed the people.
When the exchange rate is affected, he said, it means food supply is heavily affected thereby creating difficulties for Ghanaians.
“This event could not be happening at a better time and I hope our panellist will elevate the conversation to the level of state and to the level of global coordination.
“Agriculture is probably one gifted industry to Ghana, to Africa, not all of Africa, Ghana, When the fundamentals are weak the exchange rate will expose you.
“On this one in agriculture the fundamentals are that everything we consume in this country, we consume more of our agricultural product in this country than we produce. Therefore for the surplus that you consume you have to bring from outside.
“What do you need? You need foreign exchange and when the foreign exchange is not there the fundamentals will expose you. So I think today’s Ghana and the world economy has exposed us in terms of the way we are organized in our agricultural sector.”
Source: 3 News