Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA) and head of the Agriculture Desk at Joy News Joseph Opoku Gakpo has been speaking at the University of Ghana as Ghana marked National Farmers Day.
He’s been calling for more investment in smallholder agriculture as he highlights how climate change impacts smallholder farmers more severely than their colleagues engaged in commercial farming.
He moderated a panel discussion organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the West Africa Center for Crop Improvement at the University of Ghana that brought together experts in the agricultural space to discuss “building integrated and resilient food systems in Ghana.”
In an opening address to set the table for the panel discussion, Opoku Gakpo recounted how in 2016, a Joy News documentary titled Lost Harvest highlighted the situation of smallholder farmers running into debt as a result bad weather.
“Most small holder farmers have zero resilience… Government must expand investments in smallholder agriculture,” he said. Members of the panel included Anthony Morrison who is Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Agribusiness, Nana Adjei Ayeh who is President of the Ghana Rice Interprofessional Body, Dr. Beatrice Ifie who is a plant breeder at WACCI and Dr. Dorothy Effah who is Program Officer in charge of Policy and Advocacy at AGRA. Founding Director of WACCI Prof. Eric Danquah delivered a welcome address. Ghana Country Manager of AGRA Juliette Lampoh – Agroh and Dr. Solomon Gyan Ansah who is Deputy Director in charge of Crop Services at the Ministry for Food and Agriculture spoke at the event.