Ghana opens doors for investors in digital agriculture
September 5th, 2019
Investors in the agricultural sector, agribusiness and digital infrastructure have been invited to invest in Ghana.
“Doors are wide open for potential investors,” said Hon. George Boahen Oduro, the Deputy Minister for Horticulture in Ghana during an event about investment in Ghana, on the sidelines of the AGRF. “The government has made agriculture a priority, and has provided an enabling environment for investment in the sector,” he said.
The country’s agricultural output increased in 2017 and 2018, driven in large part by government policy and expenditure. According to the Ghana Statistical Service, agriculture grew 5.5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018, outpacing general non-oil GDP growth the same year.
“The government has established three greenhouse villages in three different parts of the country, and we invite investors to put their money on similar projects so as to spur growth, and create employment opportunities,” said Hon Oduro.
Precision Solutions Limited is one of the companies in Ghana’s agricultural sector, and has invested in drone technologies to mitigate risks and increase farm productivity in the country.
“Our products enable clients to implement precision agricultural technologies in their agricultural environments,” said Alfred Quaynor, the Managing Partner at the Precision Solutions Limited.
“The aim of our company is to support farmers with new and emerging bespoke and sustainable information and communication technologies in the sub Saharan region by assisting them with technology knowhow, reducing their financial burden and building their capacities,” said Quaynor.
So far, the country is already embracing the drone technology in agriculture as a way of digitizing the sector. Generally, sensors and digital imaging capabilities of drones give farmers a richer picture of their fields singling out signs of disease or pest attack, which gives the farmer better options for effective field management .
During the session, Alima Bawah, a former journalist and now a social entrepreneur told delegates how her organization – Cowtribe – was using mobile phone technology to solve challenges faced by cattle herders. “Farmers subscribe for our service using their mobile phone. During the process, we collect relevant information about the farmers and their animals so as to better understand their needs,” said Bawah.
The information is then used to create a schedule that is tailored to individual farmer’s exact needs. “With this information, we are able to manage all schedules, and we can easily send the farmer a reminder when his/her animals are due for care,” she said.
However, although agriculture in Ghana employs almost half of the population and contributes approximately 20 percent of GDP, it is dominated by traditional smallholder farms, which typically cover fewer than two hectares with primitive farming methods.
With government placing agricultural transformation at the centre of the country’s economic modification, the special event was set to highlight the key investment areas, led by technology that will serve as the most achievable pathway to raising the efficiency and productivity within the sector to the necessary standards for sustainable economic growth.