Testimony - Kwadaso Agricultural College, Ghana
Ghana is a developing agricultural country with nearly 70% of its population in the agricultural sector of the economy. Until recently the country relied mostly on the export of cocoa, an agricultural produce, as the main foreign exchange earner of the country. Although gold, timber and foreign remittances now bring good earnings into the country agricultural exports will still remain very important source of foreign exchange earnings for a long time even into the distant future.
A number of non-traditional export crops including bananas, copra, vegetables, spices, mangoes, paw paw, avocado, pineapples, sea foods etc can all be exported to earn income for farmers and for the country. However, exports of such agricultural produce are fraught with so many problems that often poor farmers in the country eventually become the losers thus compounding the poverty of the farmer. European Union as well as American and other western nations standards and terms for international trade in such agricultural products make it very difficult for Ghanaian farmers and exporters to gain-fully and freely enter such foreign markets.
Although World Bank regulations as well as international trade conventions make it mandatory for Ghana to open its doors to international free trade resulting in all types of goods coming into the country it is not so when Ghanaian exporters want to enter markets in most western countries.
Again foreign markets often dictate the prices of Ghana’s imports as well as exports resulting in higher prices for imported goods while exported goods earn very low prices. For these reasons it is very difficult for Ghanaian farmers to get good prices for their produce. Since majority of the population is in the agricultural sector this further impoverishes the Ghanaian farmer. If Africans should break out of the poverty trap then there should be free and fair international trade in all products including agricultural produce. Further impoverishment of the Ghanaian and for that matter the African farmer would not be good for international economy either, for the African farmer should be economically empowered to be able to afford imports from other countries.
Thank you. Anthony Appiah, Kwadaso Agricultural College, Ghana