Economist and Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr. John Gartchie Gatsi, has urged the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) to introduce schemes that will attract foreign investors into the agriculture sector to speed up economic growth.
Even though figures from the GIPC show that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) recorded during the second quarter of this year increased by over 400 percent in the amount of initial transfers compared with the value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2015, investments in the agricultural sector has not been encouraging.
The agricultural sector recorded only three projects among the 51 new projects recorded in the period under review, with the manufacturing and services sectors topping with 13 and 20 projects respectively.
“African countries should structure the economy in a way that they will have programmes that give incentives to FDIs in the agricultural sector,” Dr Gatsi said.
“Much of our FDI is not directed into agriculture and agribusiness, meanwhile, we all believe that when FDI is directed into these areas, the effect will be felt in terms of employment and development of our economy in a progressive manner.
GIPC must look at providing a generic incentive and motivation that applies to all sectors of the economy, especially the agricultural sector,” Dr. Gatsi said in an interview with the B&FT.
He added that beyond providing incentives to attract FDI to the sector, local investors also need similar motivational schemes to encourage them push resources into the sector.
The country’s agricultural sector has been dwindling over the years due to lack of attention.
The agric sector, last year, recorded an abysmal 0.04percent growth rate, a decline from a revised target of 3.6 percent for that year.
Government has blamed the decline on the crops sub-sector, “on account of the subsector’s large weight,” which recorded a -1.7percent growth rate.
Some watchers of the sector argue that growth could tumble further this year because government has yanked off GH?40 million from its 2016 expenditure.