Continuous reduction in imports of agricultural products into the country, the Oxford Business Group has noted, reveals Ghana’s gradual shift to greater food security.
This is according to the Ghana Covid-19 Response Report issued by the Oxford Business Group.
In the report, the Group notes that, in recent years, production of most crops usually imported into the country, has increased significantly.
An instance is the national production of maize which rose by 71 per cent from 1.7 metric tonnes in 2016 to 2.9 metric tonnes in 2019. Paddy rice within the same period increased by 34 per cent from 688,000 to 925,000 tonnes.
According to the Oxford Business Group, growth in staple crop yields has helped reduce food imports into the country, signifying a higher degree of food security.
Total value of agricultural imports for 2019 per the report, reduced to Ghs 13.3 billion compared to a total of Ghs 13.5 billion agricultural imports made in 2018, representing a reduction of some Ghs 200 million in agricultural imports.
In 2017, agricultural imports totaled Ghs 14.4 billion.
The Group attributed the marginal reduction in the total value of agricultural imports largely to the import of fertilizers and mechanical appliances
“Total value of agricultural imports remained largely unchanged due to more purchases of fertilizers, live animals, mechanical appliances and agricultural vehicles,” said the Group.
“In 2019, imports of meat were down by 35 per cent from Ghs 744 million in 2018 to Ghs 484 million, rice imports declined by 6 per cent from Ghs 8.9 billion to Ghs 8.4 billion and the value of cereal imports was reduced by 10.6 per cent from Ghs 817 million to Ghs 730 million. Cereal production dropped more sharply the previous year – dropping by 38 per cent in 2018,” stated the report.
The Oxford Business Group attributed the marginal success chalked and gradual shift to food security and sufficiency to the large-scale agricultural modernisation efforts embarked on by government since 2017.
Chief among them being the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD).