The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriye Akoto, has expressed optimism for agriculture growth within the Oti Region.
This, according to the minister, indicates a positive sign that commitment to addressing a few bottlenecks in the production value chain will upscale.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto made the remarks at the Oti Regional Coordinating Council (ORCC) on Sunday, November 6, 2022.
He noted that Oti Region has a number of valleys that could be suitable for rice production, therefore, urged farmers in the region to take advantage of it.
He was excited that Oti Region, which did not have rice-producing potential now has a different narrative.
He could not understand why Ghana should import food items from foreign countries while “our soil supports different kinds of crops.”
“Going around the country, I see great agricultural potential, so why should we continue to import food items?” He quizzed.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto urged the farmers to save the proceeds from their labour and inject it into their businesses.
In that case, he said, they would be able to raise enough funds to buy machinery.
He however added that he would table the requests of farmers to the government and get them feedback on the Government’s decision.
“The time has come to increase yield and that can happen by mechanizing agriculture,” he averred.
The Regional Agricultural Director for Oti Region, Mr. Oberien Nyarko, was hopeful the region will step up the production of foodstuff to at least feed the region.
He maintained that foodstuffs in the region cost less but when transported to the cities, the prizes are inflated to unreasonable levels.
For instance, he disclosed during a presentation that a tuber of yam costs GHS10.00 at the farm gates but when transported to the cities, it is sold at GHS24.00.
The minister also used the opportunity to vehemently debunk the assertion that there was a food shortage in the country.