Often referred to as the backbone of Ghana’s economy, agriculture has traditionally been the largest sector and the biggest employer in the country, bolstered by diverse commodities and strong ties to European markets. However, agriculture’s economic contribution has dwindled as the sector has shown low growth in recent years. Its contribution to GDP fell in 2012, totalling 22.7% of GDP, compared to 25.3% in 2011. To counter this, the Food and Agricultural Sector Development Plan features six priority themes. Cash crops form a significant portion of exports, although transport gaps and seasonal production continue to be issues. The government is using growing petroleum revenues to beef up funding allocation for agricultural modernisation. Around $10.3m of the Annual Budget Funding Amount will be spent on the sector annually from 2013-23. As the government continues to expand and modernise agriculture, the industry should see steady growth over the coming years.
This chapter contains an interview with Sunny Verghese, Group Managing Director and CEO, Olam International.