Business Development Minister Alhaji Mohammed Awal has revealed that cotton and shea nut production are critical components of the industrialisation transformation agenda of government for job creation in the northern sector of the country.
According to him, agriculture will be the backbone for the economic drive of the region since cotton and shea nut production can engage more than 600,000 women and men in the North.
Mr Awal made this known when he interacted with the business community in Tamale on the various government initiatives for the private sector in the region.
“We are planning to transform the country through industrialisation. Cotton and shea nuts are very important for Northern Ghana because they are enablers. Once we are able to do the shea nut and cotton industry, shea nut can give jobs to about 600,000 women and men in this part of our country,” he stated.
“…Agriculture is the backbone. It is the key. The issue here has been the value chain. We don’t have the source of the raw material, the skill development and the market. …One of our key targets is to make sure that we link up sources of raw materials, skills and innovation development and then access to market,” he added.
The former president of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Mohammed Nashiru, said any support for the agricultural sector must go to the right people to generate the needed change in the sector.
“In this region, agriculture sector is the engine for growth and for you to help people develop their businesses and get employment and enrich themselves, then what we need to do is to provide the needs of the agricultural sector, the needs in the sense that we need to get them the right machinery, build their capacities, open market avenues for them so that they can produce and sell. If that happens, it means this will be a big opportunity for farmers in the region. But if we fail to do that, we cannot make the business grow because everything in the region is linked to agriculture,” he stated.