The World Bank (WB) has called for more and better investment in Ghana’s agriculture sector to help improve productivity, employment, and rural poverty reduction.
In a summary of its latest country-focused report entitled Agriculture: Ghana’s Engine of Growth for Jobs Creation, the bank said due to lack of investments, the agricultural sector remains underdeveloped despite holding huge potential to diversify and drive economic growth.
“Agriculture is an important contributor to Ghana’s export earnings, and a major source of inputs for the manufacturing sector. It is also a major source of income for a majority of the population, but we have seen a recent reduction in growth in agriculture, which needs to be reversed through appropriate policies and increased investments.” said Henry Kerali, WB Country Director for Ghana.
The bank also said government should improve its regulatory framework to attract more private investment into the agricultural sector.
“In the context of declining investment in agriculture, the report suggests that improving the efficiency and quality of sectoral spending could generate significant gains in productivity, employment, and rural poverty reduction without compromising the Government’s ongoing fiscal consolidation program,” the bank said.
The bank suggested that instead of devoting a large chunk of agricultural sector spending to cocoa production, government should invest in diversify agricultural productivity beyond a single crop.
The bank also called for more investments in research to increase farmer technology uptake, as well as irrigation infrastructure, to increase productivity and mitigate the impacts of climate change.