An economic expert is pushing for what he describes as deliberate policies from government to ramp up food production in the country.
This is to help fight inflation which stood at 53.6 per cent at the end of January, this year.
An Associate Professor of the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana (UG), Professor Eric Osei-Assibey, explained that the high inflation being experienced was partly because of the country’s inability to produce enough food for local consumption.
He was speaking at the 2023 Ghana Economic Outlook Forum in Accra yesterday.
The forum was organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Ghana on the theme: “Navigating Through Uncertain Economic Conditions – A Pragmatic Approach”.
Prof. Osei-Assibey said, “Food remains high in many parts of the country which means that we really need deliberate policies on the part of government and the private sector to see how we can ramp up production in value chain because adequate food supply is key to bring down inflation.”
“So, I am of the view that if we are able to come out of this economic quagmire that we all find ourselves in, we need to be deliberate, target, and make sure we push investments into our food value chain processes right from the production level through to distribution”.
He said, “we need investments along that line and it will mean that the banks, government and all the institutions that matter have to come together to begin to shift focus and put much more emphasis on farming”.
Large scale farming
With particular reference to financial institutions, Prof. Osei-Assibey also stressed the need for banks to be able to support businesses that had the intention to go into farming.
That, he said, would not only make the economy strong, but also help to provide employment to the vast majority of the youth, most of whom are unemployed.
“So if we are able to do that, then the effects on the economy will be enormous, income levels will begin to rise and once income levels begin to rise, our growth will expand further.”
“Although we are in economic difficulty, it also presents an opportunity for us to reset and begin to look at what matters the most for our people,” he said