The U.S. government’s Feed Initiative has hosted Agriculture research policy summit to share findings on evidenced-based policy recommendations with Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agricultuare, state agencies, development partners, research institutions and the private sector.

The summit explored how government could adopt proposed policies recommendations by researchers in formulating policies that would help eliminate constraints facing the private sector.

Adoption of the policies and recommendations is expected to help government create the enabling environment for increased investments in Ghana’s agriculture sector to ensure long-term growth.

Mr William Quitoo, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, said at the opening session on Tuesday that “research is a public good” that uses public funds to bring out the results and should not be allowed to go waste.

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He said government would study the findings and recommendations and make the necessary stakeholder consultations to guide it to implement robust policies that would move the country from food dependency to self-sustainability.

“Research is a public good, taxpayers money are used to fund it, so there is no reason to allow research results to go waste, !” he said.

Mr Quitoo expressed worry that Ghana was once an exporter of food imported $600 million worth of rice in 2015/2016, describing the situation as “unacceptable and dangerous” for the country.

The Summit was held under the theme: “Supporting effective and efficient Agriculture policies through research” to strengthen Ghana’s agricultural policymaking process.

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USAID/Ghana Acting Mission Director, Steven E. Hendrix highlighted the importance of using research and data to inform policy making and expressed the agency’s readiness to continue helping Ghana’s Agriculture Ministry.

“USAID supports the Ministry of Food and Agriculture with research and policy analysis, and builds the capacity of public and private organizers to closely monitor and evaluate agriculture programmes,” he said.

“Where policymaking is concerned, we believe research is a critical component to creating the most effective agriculture policies,’’ he added.

The conference organised sought to boost agricultural research and support policies based on relevant and quality data to foster sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

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Walter Nunez-Rodriguez, Chief of Part, APSP, said the research addressed four concerns in agriculture areas which were fundamental to the government and added that the research was in response to a holistic policy.

The researched areas included – production, productivity and food security; agricultural extension and knowledge sharing; agriculture marketing; and sustainable land management.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh