The former vice-chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, has raised concerns on the need to put measures in place to make agriculture a profitable venture.
Professor Aryeetey who spoke to the media said there is the need to ensure that agriculture becomes a major priority area for investment.
“The question of how to make agriculture profitable is a question that we have been grappling with for many years. We have to restructure agriculture itself. We have to change the incentive structure behind it”.
On the lack of interest by banks to invest in the agricultural sector, the former vice-chancellor said, the sector continues to be a high-risk one hence financial institutions keep shying away from the sector.
“Banks don’t lend because they know the money will not come back. It is as simple as that. And many banks have done that for many years. We have to review the structures behind agriculture which will make people borrow money and use them for things that will yield good returns.
Until that is done the incentive for a bank to lend to agriculture will remain low,” he explained.
Many factors contribute to the dwindling benefits of agriculture in Ghana, and amongst them are price volatility of agriculture products and farmers’ income, inadequate incentives to farmers, use of outmoded agricultural practices, market availability and many more.
In spite of these challenges, the agricultural sector continues to be a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, yet governments over the years have committed little resources to improve the performance of agriculture in Ghana.