The Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu at the opening of a 5-day of Agricultural Fair as part of the activities marketing the 37th edition of the National Farmers’ Day celebration in Cape Coast, called for investors to explore the rich soils of the North for the production of crops and livestock.
“The benefits will indeed be very immense to all such investors. I assure you that a warm reception awaits all of you,” he said.
According to him, 35% of the land in the region is being cultivated, while the remaining 65% is available for any project or investor who is interested in Agriculture.
Hon. Shaibu expresses the fortunes of the region, adding that, almost every crop thrives well in the Northern region.
These crops he mentioned, included but were not limited to cereals such as maize, rice, millet, sorghum; legumes such as groundnut, cowpea, soybeans, root; tubers such as yam, cassava, orange, flesh sweet potato; vegetables such as leafy vegetables, pepper, tomatoes, okro, etc, all do very well in our soils.
He asserted that, the region located in the guinea savannah zone exposes it to suitable conditions for livestock, cattle, goats, sheep and the rearing of birds such as guinea fowls, pigeons, ducks¸ honey production etc.
“We are also fortunate to have a few Agribusiness activities such as processing facilities for rice, shea and groundnut processing. Most prominent of them located in Nyankpala (Avnash Rice Processing) and another rice processing factory in Savelugu,” he added.
Hon. Shaibu added that the prevailing peace and security in the region is attracting all prospective investors to the region, coupled with the opportunities that the second phase of the upgrading of the Airport to international status will bring; this will ease the transport of Agricultural products to Europe and beyond by a reduction of travel time of about 1-hour.
Though the region presents enormous opportunities for agriculture and livestock, several challenges need to be addressed to create a favourable environment for the extraction of these potentials.
Hon. Shaibu during his submission said, the region main challenge remains the high dependency on rainfed agriculture which can easily be overcome by investors through the development of the rich valleys in the region, to provide irrigation systems to ensure year-round production.”
Another challenge he raised is the issue of low mechanization, high post-harvest losses and poor marketing. In line with this, he called for collaboration and cooperation with any agency that is ready to assist in overcoming the challenges.
“I assure that there is huge market potential with our 2.4 million population and of cause the easy access to other regions and the Sahel countries, namely Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, etc.,” he added.
𝑵𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝑭𝒂𝒓𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒔’ 𝑫𝒂𝒚
This year’s national farmers day which is on the theme “Planting for Food and Jobs – consolidating Food systems in Ghana” is dedicated as the Northern Region’s Day.
Hon. Shaibu in his submission, expressed gratitude for the honour conferred upon the region and touted the region as the most agrarian region in the country, and has embraced the Planting for Food and Jobs as a laudable Government initiative that is improving the fortunes of agriculture around.
A 5-day fair was prearranged to mark this year’s farmers day, which began on November 29, 2021, and stretches December 3, 2021, the day for observing national farmers day as dictated by statute.
The Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the Agricultural Fairs will contribute to the objectives of job creation, food security and poverty reduction if the knowledge, exposure and lessons learnt are translated into action.
He added that, the Fairs will promote sustainable agriculture and thriving agribusiness from the information and opportunities they present.
He urged actors in the agricultural sector to engage in greater collaboration to continue building momentum for the accelerated development of agriculture.