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Most cocoa farmers have never tasted chocolate; we need value addition – Dumelo

Actor, politician, and farmer John Dumelo have called for value addition in Ghana’s agric sector.

Actor, politician, and farmer John Dumelo have called for value addition in Ghana’s agric sector.

In his view, that is the way to go in order to make the local farmer competitive.

Speaking during the 3business agribusiness dialogue on Wednesday, October 26, he said “We have to look at adding value to our products and also post-harvest losses.

“Most cocoa farmers haven’t tasted chocolate before yet we are the net exporter of cocoa.”

During the event, the 2018 National Best Farmer, James Boateng said Ghana needs to scale up its agricultural production.

He said there was a need to apply technology to scale up production.

He said “we are not even applying the little technology that we have.

“I don’t know why we can’t grow tomatoes and onions in Ghana to the extent that we buy from Burkina Faso. We have issues with logistics.”

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He added “We need to look at our inputs. Ghana 2019 did quite well in terms of the provision of inputs and in turn, our maize production increased.”

For its part, former Managing Director of the Stanbic Bank, Naa Alhassan Andani observed that the agric sector of the Ghanaian economy and other parts of Africa has been exposed to global happenings.

He indicated that Ghanaians consume more than they produce locally. This means a lot more foreign exchange earnings are required to bring in additional food supplies to feed the people.

When the exchange rate is affected, he said, it means the food supply is heavily affected thereby creating difficulties for Ghanaians.

“This event could not be happening at a better time and I hope our panelist will elevate the conversation to the level of state and to the level of global coordination.

“Agriculture is probably one gifted industry to Ghana, to Africa, not all of Africa, Ghana, When the fundamentals are weak the exchange rate will expose you.

“On this one in agriculture the fundamentals are that everything we consume in this country, we consume more of our agricultural product in this country than we produce. Therefore for the surplus that you consume you have to bring from outside.

“What do you need? You need foreign exchange and when the foreign exchange is not there the fundamentals will expose you. So I think today’s Ghana and the world economy has exposed us in terms  of the way we are organized in our agricultural sector.”

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