AGRO-CORPS GHANA is an organization established to bring farmers under one umbrella through cooperatives, to combat unemployment in order to eradicate Rural and Urban Poverty and underdevelopment in Africa with particular reference to Ghana. The history behind AGRO-CORPS GHANA is derived from the point of view of the late Kwadwo Baah Wiredu and his perception about mobilization of Ghanaian Diaspora’s resources, manpower, expertise and contribution towards Ghana’s economy with regard to capital injection.
Our position which is also shared vividly by our Vice President (Mr. James Adu-Amankwah) is that “Cooperatives play a crucial role in reducing poverty, improving food security and generating employment opportunities.”
In the words of the US President Barack Obama at a Symposium on agriculture and Global Food Security he said, “history teaches us that one of the most effective ways to pull people and entire nations out of poverty is to invest in their agriculture. Access to credit facilities to expand and modernize operations, availability of improved and subsidized seeds and inputs, construction of irrigational facilities, closer agricultural extension services, training in entrepreneurship and literacy, facilitation of the establishment of cooperative societies to give them a stronger voice, among others.”
A report by the Chief Economist Complex of the African Development Bank Group has affirmed that issuing Diaspora bonds may well give Ghana a readier alternative to donor funds and help it fill the yawning infrastructure gap.
Africa could tap into an estimated US$53billion, being the savings of an estimated 140 million Africans living outside the continent, according to the paper titled “Diaspora Bonds: Some Lessons for African Countries”. Ghana currently loses GHc700, 000 every year in post-harvest losses because of poor post-harvest management practices in the country. The country also loses between 20 and 50 per cent of all vegetables, fruits, cereals, roots and tubers produced each year, while it struggles to achieve food security and eradicate hunger. Inadequate storage facilities, poor road infrastructure and the lack of ready market for most agricultural produce. The right to adequate and safe food is a fundamental human right and also a developmental concern to all governments and international organizations worldwide.
‘The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimate that, the world’s productivity must increase by 70 percent in 2050 in order to feed the estimated 9 billion projected populations. However the world seems far from achieving this goal since estimates from the FAO indicate that, while 1 in every 7 person in the world go without food, about 1.3billion tones of the world’s food is wasted every year. Post-harvest loss has been a perennial problem facing the Ghanaian food economy. It appears that Ghana may not achieve the Millennium Development Goal of curbing food security and eradicating hunger within the stipulated period by the United Nations.
Construction of Agro-processing plants throughout the country could promote the value added chain principle. Agro-processing is huge as it can:
1. Increase the value of crops of poor farmers and thus yield higher returns;
2.Expand marketing opportunities;
3.Improve livelihoods of people;
4.Extend shelf-life of commodities;
5.Improve palatability of commodities;
6.Enhance food security;
7.Overcome seasonality and perishability constraints; and
8.8. Empower women who are often involved in agro-processing.
Industrialization as an investment will provide employment opportunities to a larger mass which will go a long way to broaden our chances of higher development.