Government of Ghana & Dutch Agriterra signs MOU to boost agricultural Cooperative

To boost the agriculture sector through cooperativeness as well to make it attractive and lucrative to young people, Agriterra, a Dutch agri-agency has signed a Memoradum of Standing (MOU) with the government of Ghana for the realization of this desire.

Agriterra is an international, non-profit agri-agency founded by the Dutch agricultural sector 20 years and professionalises cooperatives and farmer organizations worldwide to better serve the needs and interests of their members.

Speaking at the official Launching its office in Ghana, the Global President of Agriterra, Cees Van Rij believes that, this MOU will help government to realize its vision regarding to the agriculture sector.

Adding that, their presence will uplift the face of agricultural sector hence making cooperative banakble.

Furthermore, will focus on internal capitalization that will improve and enhance local farmers yields and assist farmers in reaching their tipping point by modernising the agricultural sector and building the next generation cooperatives.

To him, Ghana is in a transformation stage that, the MOU will help government to implement policies that will modernize the agriculture sector as well build a strong partnership with government.

“The MOU is for a longer purpose, hence, we are here to stay to provide our services to local farmers as well ensure a vibrant economic sysyem”, he a knowledged.

At Agriterra, he explained that, famers are assured of unique experience and knowledge of cooperatives, quality peer-to-peer advice, training and exchange as well a strong local presence and fsrmer-led which will connect farmers to extensive network in cooperatives and agribusinesses.

Furthermore, uses 3-track approach that yield results for its members namely Farmer Business, Farmer Services and Farmer Lobby.

In 20 countries with more than 660,000 farmers organised in more than 250 cooperatives, Agriterra offers top-quality expertise to its members.

On his part, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah acknowledged the importance of cooperative system indicating that, it has been proven to be a great contributor to socio-economic growth and development across the globe

Admitting that, Ghana has also identified with the important e of cooperative societies in the national development agenda since the days of independence from colonial rule.

“Cooperatives have had a long and illustrious impact on the economic history of the nation, adding the continued relevant e of the Cooperatives movement to national growth and development cannot be overemphasized”, he opined.

To him, it is worthy to note that, the Labour Force Survey of 2015 puts 90% of working population in the informal sector of the nation’s economy that, majority of these people are reported to be operating in the agriculture subsector.

However, the Integrated Business Establishment Survey (IBES) II report he said states that, the agriculture sector, contributed GHc 5.4 billion to the national revenue in 2013.

This, he believes translates to only 1.2% of total revenue for the period, which totaled GHc 457 billion.

Believing that, this present a great potential and room for development of two country’s informal and rural economies.

“The is room to improve the productivity and output of the nation, and there is the need to do this in the most sustainable manner.

Therefore, appauled Agriterra for coming on board because cooperative systems already has the principles, systems and processes to ensure inclusive and sustainable development.

“Several countries, including South Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and India have demonstrated the pivotal role cooperatives play in enhancing the contribution of the private sector to socioeconomic development”, the Minister acclaimed.

In Ghana , the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon Baffour Awuah the rural and informal economy has been hugely untapped hence the presence of Agriterra will be of good use to realization of utilizing this untapped sector.

Revealing that, “I see cooperatives playing a leading role in several of the government’s developmental programmes”.

And to harness the inherent potential of the cooperative system to achieve great objectives, he noted that, its leaders have to step up and take charge of the reins.

“I do not see why cooperative societies should not be at the forefront of the 1D1F programme because this programme is specially tailored for development of local economies”, he acknowledged.

On that note, the minister indicated that, his Ministry is ready and willing to assist the development of cooperatives in the nation.

To that effect, he revealed that, a new Cooperatives Bill has been submitted to the Attorney-General for the necessary procedure leading to its passage.

Therefore called on the leadership of the societies to drive the agenda.

Source: www.thenewindependentonline.on/ Ishmael Barfi/

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