Former President John Agyekum Kufuor in an interaction with AGRA Board Chairman HE Hailemariam Desalegn, who is also a former Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor congratulated the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) for its commitment to Ghana’s development and African agriculture.
The former president, who is also the founder of the John A. Kufuor Foundation, described AGRA as a “vital partner with whom we share common goals and aspirations”.
Mr Kufuor made the comments when AGRA management paid him a courtesy visit to his residence on October 7, 2021, to present their latest initiative (“Public – Private Partnership for Competitive and Inclusive Rice Value Development: Planting for Food and Jobs – Rice Chapter ”) to him and to discuss ways to defend the continent’s agricultural revolution.
The John A. Kufuor Foundation and AGRA have launched a number of initiatives to accelerate the growth of Ghana’s agricultural sector, make the country less dependent on food imports and reduce poverty among farmers.
The Public-Private Partnership for Competitive and Inclusive Rice Value Chain Development: Planting for Food and Jobs – The Rice Chapter Project aims to promote effective strategies and policies that will make Ghana self-sufficient in rice production, so that the sector provides the associated jobs. and economic growth.
Further praising the role of AGRA in the agricultural space of the country, Mr. Kufuor expressed “his sincere gratitude to all of AGRA for its tireless commitment to transform the agricultural sector across the African continent” .
For him, African-led organizations had a key role to play in defending agriculture on the continent, saying: “We envision several areas of collaboration in the coming future to totally transform our dear continent.
He added: “Our partnership with AGRA is mainly focused on import substitution by creating a self-sufficient rice sector that can compete favorably with imports… If we apply our strategies correctly, we could very soon become a net exporter of rice.
On what the future holds, former President Kufuor said his Foundation and AGRA will continue to work on building partnerships with private institutions so that more capital can be made available to stakeholders in the rice value chain.
“Both organizations believe very much in the power of partnerships. We have continuously built a broad coalition of partners at different levels of the value chain. A key partner that needs to be involved is the financial intermediaries to make funds available for the sector… I think the Foundation and AGRA can develop a credible strategy to improve access to finance for farmers ”, he said. he noted.
Ghana spends an average of US $ 600 million per year importing rice. In fact, in 2015 it was US $ 1.2 billion. This figure is close to the total foreign exchange that Ghana earns each year thanks to its most important cash crop, cocoa.
Rice imports also destroy local jobs in the sector. But the AGRA-John A. Kufuor Foundation project is helping to reverse this untenable situation.
The project succeeded in reorganizing the actors of the rice sector into a more formidable national association under the aegis of the inter-professional rice body of Ghana, to be able to advocate and lobby on behalf of rice farmers and others. actors in the value chain.
Sections of the association were established in the 16 regions of the country, which became effective channels for the distribution of inputs and subsidies to farmers.