Chief Executive Officer of Agribusiness Ghana, Anthony SK Morrison, has disclosed that most agribusinesses have short lifespan because they lack requisite skill in their industry.
According to him, these businesses should rather invest in skill development in order to innovatively impart their operations.
Speaking on the theme ‘The Future of Africa’s Agriculture: An Assessment of the role of the youth and technology’, Mr Morrison explained that technology will play a fundamental role in defining the operations of farmers.
“Most of the reason why the agribusiness and agri-tech businesses do not survive is because they lack the needed skills to either be innovative or to be sustainable or to be able to form a robust management system with regards to their start-ups or businesses. So, I think we should look at how skills is very essential in developing some of these things.
“We’ve done some work with FAO and we were very emphatic on the fact that research and innovation is critical in the industry. We kind of agree that though access to data, internet and many other things that are very critical for the development of agri-tech. Let’s be mindful that agri-tech is not in the city, it’s in the villages where innovation are needed to solve major challenges of smallholder farmers, irrigation and many other things. Yet still, where the technologies are required, there are no data access, no internet access”
Adopting innovation in Agriculture
Mr Morrison further noted that there is insufficient involvement of government in providing the youth with requisite support in the agric industry.
Comparing the industry to other countries, he insisted that when it comes to innovation in Ghana, it’s either “the system doesn’t exist at all”, or “confusion”.
“The last data shows that we have about 57 percent of our rural folks in our rural areas engaged actively in Agriculture. I liked that fact that they’ve zeroed in on technology. Our last Agriculture census in 2018 was emphatic on the fact that over 70% of our farmers still use rudimentary technology.
“Even the World Bank report states that if African farmers can adopt innovative technology, they’ll be able to make a trillion dollar by 2030. That tells you that we cannot underscore the importance of technology”.
Overdependence on government for support
The Agribusiness Ghana CEO further admonished agric stakeholders to desist from the “free” request from government.
According to him, although there are many farmers in the industry government is not able to bring in “any agriculture social intervention policies that can affect all of them”.
“This is the reason why the industry is not growing; over-dependency on government. This is one major reason why the industry is not growing. Free, free, free, it doesn’t work. If you want to be car importer, do you go to government to provide some free thing? You look for your money. Let me also add that it’s not everyone that can be a farmer and it doesn’t have to be like that.
“What we are working on, we have almost eight million according to the last agriculture census. We are projecting that about 12 million or 14 million of the population are actively engaged in agriculture. Now, this is the risk effect, you have that number of population in agriculture but lack the essential skills to increase their productivity and yield”.