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Sustainable employment through Agribusiness in Ghana
Anokye F. Samuel

With the services sector contributing more and more to the GDP, the Ghanaian economy is undergoing a structural shift. Nonetheless, 34% of the workforce is employed in Ghana’s primary sector, which generates 19% of the country’s GDP. Households in Ghana, as in other developing nations, are both producers and consumers of commodities. Therefore, boosting agricultural output will be the driving force behind the country’s economic growth and structural change. In 2019, Ghana’s GDP derived approximately 20% of its income from the agricultural sector.

Agribusiness is a key sector in Ghana and offers a range of investment opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. This sector not only boosts Ghana’s GDP but also employs a large number of people and supplies raw materials for industrial advancement and expansion. The state of the agriculture sector affects a nation’s overall economic growth and development. Ghana now has a significant demand for the following agricultural products: soybeans, rice, cassava, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and maize.

The availability of inputs for the food industry and food security are both positively impacted by agricultural development. Furthermore, agricultural product processing and marketing generate revenue and jobs, making them crucial to Ghana’s socioeconomic development. For people losing their jobs, agriculture might provide a safety net or an economic cushion. Relatives who have lost their employment can return to the farm and work there temporarily, thanks to agriculture.

Agriculture is cited in the national development agenda as a sector that can drive economic growth and structural change to optimize the advantages of faster growth. According to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), 2019 report, the main industry for employment is agriculture, which employs approximately 45.38 percent of the country’s workforce.

Ghana created policies to develop the agricultural, fishing, and forestry sectors with a primary focus on the development of the Northern region as part of its Strategy Support Programme Growth, the Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Medium-Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP), and the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP). Because there are strong links between income and consumption, the Ghana Strategy Support Programme (GSSP) states that encouraging agricultural expansion will significantly reduce poverty at the regional level.

In order to boost their supply chain management and become more competitive, many agribusiness firms require assistance. Furthermore, they frequently do not have access to capital, important investments, cutting-edge technologies, or digitalization. The agriculture sector’s micro, small, and medium-sized firms (MSMEs) have better circumstances for producing jobs, particularly for women and young people.

Need for policy implementation

In order to achieve this, policies should emphasize the promotion of commodities that are appropriate for fostering employment, economic growth, and income diversification while also taking the mitigation of regional disparities into consideration. Putting money into Ghana’s agricultural industry has a number of benefits. The population of the nation is huge and continues to rise, creating a ready market for agricultural products. The nation’s economy also greatly benefits from the agricultural sector, which gives many households a source of income and employment prospects. Ghana also boasts a favorable climate for farming and comparatively cheap labor costs.

The agricultural sector in Ghana can gain from investment opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Through the creation of a single market for goods and services throughout the African continent, the AfCFTA seeks to give agricultural products greater access to new markets and consumers. This may lead to a rise in the market for agricultural goods and more chances for agribusinesses to export their goods.

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