June 18, 2024
P.O.Box 613ER Gombilla House, Lamashegu Market, Tamale, Northern Region

Agriculture Minister Launches Project To Boost Soybean Production

Minister of Agriculture, Dr Bryan Acheampong, has launched an initiative to boost soybean production, improve competitiveness and profitability as well as generate employment for the youth along the value chain.

Dubbed the “Support to Soybean Development Programme in Ghana” the project aimed to transform the Ghana Soybean Industry by mobilising investment for the development of infrastructure and facilitating structured market and value chain financing.

It would also deal with challenges of limited access to and lack of improved certified seeds; poor land preparation and access to mechanisation for land preparation; and lack of access to inoculants.

The project is being implemented in partnership with the Japanese government and the Food and Agriculture Organisation in the East and West Gonja Municipalities of the Savannah Region.

Launching the project, Dr Bryan Acheampong said it formed an integral part of the PFJ phase two, as the government was determined to transform the agricultural value chain for economic growth with active private sector participation in eleven focal commodities.

“The soya-bean intervention objective under the PFJ phase-two is aimed at increasing production to meet local demands, export and create employment for the youth,” Dr Acheampong said.

Local demand for soya-bean, according to the FAO, is more than 450,000 metric tonnes per annum, as the country imports soymeal worth US$30 million each year.

“In 2022, the total soybean production and consumption was 255,209 MT. Ghana plans to increase its production from a current 255,000MT to over one million metric tons (1,000,000 MT) by 2027,” Dr Acheampong said.

He called on the public and private sectors to work hand-in-hand to ensure smooth implementation of the project.

Ambassador of Japan to Ghana Mochizuki Hisanobu said his government was investing an estimated US$600,000 into soybean production to improve the cereal’s entire value chain in Ghana.

The project, which falls under the Ghana Food Systems Transformation Pathway, according to the Ambassador exemplified Japan’s continuous effort to support agriculture in the country.

“Japan considers agriculture as one of the primary areas of support for Ghana, and the reason we support it is that the sector is closely connected to this country’s food security agenda,” Mr Hisanobu said.

FAO’s Regional Representative to Ghana, Dr Yurdi Yasmi, said the project to support the country’s soybean value chain was in tandem with the UNFAO’s Global Action on Green Development of Special Agricultural Products, also known as ‘One Country, One Priority Product’ (OCOP).

Dr Yasmi emphasised the significance of soybean to the agrifood systems transformation of Ghana, as the legume has the potential to increase employment; increase incomes of rural communities; and contribute to the growth of the livestock and poultry sectors.

Under the project, Dr Yasmi indicated that the FAO would embark on capacity development, sensitisation and public education on the consumption of soybeans.

Story By GNA

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