A project dubbed, Support to Soyabean Development Programme in Ghana, has been launched to increase soybean production and processing in the country.
Being undertaken under the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) flagship programme, One Country One Priority Product, it has been developed to mobilise investment for the development of infrastructure in the soyabean industry.
It is also intended to facilitate structured market and value chain financing for soyabeans that will improve competitiveness, productivity and profitability along the value chain.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Bryan Acheampong, who launched the project, noted that it was in line with the FAO’s strategic framework in the areas of better production; small-scale producer’s access to resources, climate change mitigation among others.
“It is well aligned with the overall goal of Ghana’s Planting for Food and Jobs Phase Two, which seeks to transform agricultural value chains for economic development with active private-sector participation in 11 focus commodities including soybean,” he said.
Dr Acheampong stressed that agriculture remained an important sector of Ghana’s economy, accounting for an average of 21.3 per cent of GDP since 2017 and provided employment to over 38 per cent of the working population.
He added that there were plans to increase the consumption of soyabean from 255,209 MT last year to over one million metric tonnes by 2027.
“The objective is to increase local soyabean production to meet local demand, export as well as generate employment for the youth along the value chain,” Dr Acheampong said.
The Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Mochizuki Hisanobu, noted that the project exemplified Japan’s continuous effort to support agriculture in Ghana.
“This project effectively contributes to the improvement of Ghana’s food security as it aims to increase land productivity and improve post-harvest crop management,” he said.
Additionally, the ambassador said the project also contributed to the promotion of human security, where every person could live with dignity and the government of Japan had been leading international efforts to achieve that.
“I firmly believe that this project will have a positive and long-lasting impact on Ghana.
I understand that it will not be easy but with dedication, we will get the job done,” Mr Hisanobu said.
The Director of Crop Services, Dr Solomon Gyan Ansah, stated that soyabean had become one of the cash crops and about 96 per cent was produced in northern Ghana for both source of feed for the poultry and aquaculture industry and for human consumption.
“Local production has witnessed consistent increase in volumes of production over the past five years, which is largely due to area expansion with little improvement in productivity levels.”
“We still need to produce enough soyabean to meet the growing demand for the poultry and aquaculture industry as well as export,” he said.