GHANA – Stakeholders in the agricultural value chain in Ghana have embarked on a new course that seeks to validate the Ghana Agricultural Engineering Policy and Strategy (GAEPS) aimed at boosting the agricultural sector.

According to a report by GhanaNewsAgency, the GAEPS when fully adopted also aims at safeguarding food security, assist consistency with environmental conservation practices and diversify the country’s economy through agriculture.

The stakeholders, forming the technical committee for drafting the policy, involve members drawn from the related ministries, academia, farmer groups, Food and Agriculture Organisation and the National Planning Committee among others.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, has outlined poor agricultural practices as a major hindrance in releasing optimal output from the multimillion valued agricultural sector.

He said that adoption of agricultural engineering technologies will encourage more investments into the sector highlighting America, Europe and Asia as continents that Africa should emulate in the venture.

He commended the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations for providing technical support for the development of the GAEPS.

Dr Owusu said there have been a recognition from all stakeholders for the need to strategically and consciously increase mechanisation right across the country’s agricultural value chain. 

According to the minister, as part of Government’s efforts to incorporate modern practices into the country’s agriculture, it has spearheaded a campaign to facilitate a shift from the current use of rudimentary tools to mechanise.

Additionally, the government has also launched several other initiatives including “Planting for Food and Jobs”, “Rearing for Food and Jobs”, among others as efforts to revamp the sector.

Mr Benjamin Adjei, the Representative of FAO, hailed the policy and strategy saying that if well implemented would facilitate the modernisation of the agriculture sector and increase food production.

He also noted that this will subsequently enhance supply of raw materials to industries, create more employment and reduce poverty as well as hunger.

Mr Adjei said the FAO is committed to advancing agriculture interventions, including promotion of sustainable agriculture mechanisation towards enhancing food security, good health and livelihood.

Mr Adjei insisted that agriculture mechanisation was pertinent to Africa’s ambition to end hunger in the continent by 2025- as stated in the Malabo Declaration of 2014.