Media have been encouraged to highlight vital agriculture issues to promote reforms in government policies that can enable improved private sector participation and investment in agriculture in Ghana.
Facilitating a discussion on the role of the media in promoting a private sector-led agriculture economy in Ghana, Dr Richard Ampadu and Dr Charity Osei of CSIR-STEPRI made a twofold presentation exploring critical media challenges and value chain reporting opportunities.
In addition, the researchers encouraged specialisation and entreated agricultural development projects to involve the media in all phases of project activities-design, process, and implementation.
The Media Round table Dialogue on Agriculture came off successfully at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel on Wednesday, September 14, 2017. It was marked to critically discuss challenges that confront private sector operators in the agriculture sector and how government can create the enabling environment to stimulate private sector interest and participation in the sector.
Opening the session, Professor Baffour Agyemang Badu-Duah, CEO of John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation, underscored the need for relevant actors in the agrifood system to fully take cognizance of the fact that agriculture is a business, not subsistence.
The event, organised by The Hunger Alliance of Ghana, convened a number of media practitioners and associated organisations in Ghana to build and consolidate a new partnership between the Media and the private sector to advocate for policy reforms to promote private sector interest and participation in the agriculture sector.
Mr Walter Nunez-Rodriguez, the Chief of Party of USAID Feed-the-Future Agriculture Policy Support Project (USAID/APSP) intimated that “dialogue is the basis for a good policy-making process therefore the need to allow views exchange and acceptance. “The support from USAID is aimed at amplifying the voice of the public and private sector in advocating on crucial agricultural issues to improve Ghana’s agricultural policy”, he accentuated.
During the discourse, participants stressed the need for the respective value chain actors such as the Government, Government Agencies, Civil Society, Development Partners and Private Sector to prioritize the media in the provision of timely, responsive, and accessible agricultural information to the general public as a means of exposing limitless value chain opportunities in the sector.
Dr Dorothy Effa, from the Policy Planning and Budget Directorate (PPBD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture gave an overview of the current state of the agriculture in Ghana, interspersed with useful data from the Government’s flagship agriculture program, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ). She also underscored the need for continuous dialogue with key value chain actors to improve the execution of Government programs.
The Executive Director of Hunger Alliance of Ghana, Nana Ayim Poakwa, who gave a brief speech at the Media Dialogue emphasized the unique role of the media in the promotion of agricultural investment in Ghana.
Participants committed to develop, nurture, and support a proactive Media Network to spur action on improving the reportage of agriculture in Ghana.