The initiative is expected to boost food production and improve the livelihood of farmers within the three northern regions.
Maize is Ghana’s number-one staple crop, followed by rice; and domestic demand for both is growing. According to a study commissioned by the Millennium Challenge Account Ghana Programme, it is estimated that between 2010 and 2015 rice demand is projected to grow at a compound annual growth of 11.8 percent and maize at 2.6 percent.
However, the country is not self-sufficient in either of its two most important staple crops, as Ghana has experienced average shortfalls in domestic maize supplies of 12 percent and domestic rice supplies of 69 percent in recent years, the report said.
The study found that maize, soya and rice production are currently dominated by smallholder farmers who rely on rain-fed conditions, with limited use of improved seeds, fertiliser, mechanisation, and post-harvest facilities. As a result, average yields in Ghana are well below attainable levels and post-harvest losses are high
Mr. Abdulai said Agriculture contributes a greater percentage of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and therefore 12 percent of the bank’s loan goes to support the Agricultural sector.
He urged farmers and other actors in the agribusiness industry to deepen their linkages to improve agricultural production in the country.