‘COVID-19 Offers Useful Lessons For Ghana’

Chief Executive Officer of Poultry, Aquaculture and Livestock Show (PALS) African, John Bewuah Edusei says the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic offers useful lessons for Ghana to work towards becoming self-sufficient economically.

According to him, the time is ripe for the nation to think of producing its own food, and other goods and services to cater for the needs of the people since the COVID-19 has laid bare the real challenges of the country.

He has, therefore, called on government to redirect all effort at creating a reliable food system that is dependent on local production, particularly in the area of poultry and food crops such as rice.

Speaking with DAILY GUIDE, Mr Edusei stated that there is no doubt the COVID-19 with its accompanying partial lockdown poses an immediate threat to livelihoods because rice, which is the main staple food, is imported.

He said data showed that Ghana spent $1.1 billion on rice importation alone and $90 million on dairy products in 2017.

In 2018, the PALS CEO said an amount of $311 million was expended on fish import, while $275 million was blown on meat and poultry.

He said the figure shot up to $374 million in 2019, thereby increasing the country’s import bill.

He wants government to continue its support for local farmers to create import substitutions for poultry products and rice to make the nation self-sufficient, noting that this was the decision the Nigerian government took to bolster its local capacity.

“It is high time we took agriculture seriously and encouraged our farmers to produce more than enough to feed this nation or we all die of hunger,” he indicated.

By Ernest Kofi Adu