The Ghanaian Farmer Tourism Club Agric Exchange Programme has been launched in Accra.
The agric-exchange programme to Rwanda and South Africa would provide Ghanaian farmers with international experience in the areas of best practices in growing crops, expansion, and value addition, among others.
The visit, which is scheduled for November and December, is jointly put together by Count on Crops Hub, an innovative agric organisation, Adansi Travels and RwandAir, with support from agricultural ministries from Ghana and the host countries.
The farmers will have the opportunity to interact with state officials, small businesses in the agriculture value chain, farm and livestock operations and rural communities.
The overall goal of the programme is to enable beneficiaries of the initiative to gain an understanding of innovative agribusiness and general agricultural practices, and to also build their collaborative capacities.
At the launch, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, encouraged farmers in Ghana to value agriculture as a sector that could change their lives and Ghana’s economic fortunes.
“Eco-tourism is to polish up the image of agriculture, and that is of great significance. Now wealth is coming into agriculture, and we shouldn’t sit back like the olden days when we were poor.
“Now wealth is coming in, and we have to enjoy it by travelling to see other works, and you also have the opportunity to see other linkages,” the minister stated.
Dr Afriyie Akoto advised local farmers to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to grow their businesses.
He also appealed to other airlines in different countries to come on board.
The Chief Executive Officer of Count on Crops Hub, Enyonam Manye, said while sub-Saharan Africa experienced the highest rate of population growth worldwide, it also had very limited agricultural resources reducing its ability to feed itself.
Sharing her own experience after touring some farms in Rwanda recently, Ms Manye stated that participation in the exchange programme in the agricultural sector was very minimal or non-existent, thus reducing international perspectives on the development of innovative technologies to boost productivity.
“In the national interest and in the interest of global food security, it is important to create and strengthen partnerships between institutions in the United States and Ghana,” she said.
She said the upcoming exchange study visit was aimed at consolidating the gains made through previous programmes, and would provide continuous opportunities for students and practitioners from both countries in international agriculture.
She added that the essential experience would consist of a one-week visit by farmers from Ghana to selected innovative farms in Rwanda and South Africa.
The Managing Director of Adansi Travels, Gideon Asare, advised Ghanaian farmers to formalise their businesses by registering them and opening official bank accounts in order to benefit from numerous opportunities to grow their businesses.