William Kotey speaking at the event
William Kotey, Managing Director of one of the leading firms in Ghana’s agricultural sector, RMG Ghana Limited, has called on government to address the current infrastructural challenges in the agricultural sector.
He made the call on Thursday in Accra during an evening lecture organized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) to promote professional development and enhance the productivity of the workforce in Ghana.
In a presentation at the lecture under the theme, “Getting It Right with Agri-business: The Supply Chain Management Factor,” Mr. Kotey said that the perennial infrastructural deficit in major farming communities nationwide was negatively affecting the nation’s potential to produce food to feed its people.
According to him, ensuring food security for Ghanaians and indeed other people on the continent would require “getting” things right, and that will mean making the right investments in infrastructure and providing the right seeds to farmers, among others.
He disclosed that due to poor infrastructure, it was more costly to transport one metric tonnes of maize from Tumu in the Northern Region to the Tema Port in the Greater Accra Region as compared to transporting the same metric tonnes from Argentina to the Tema Port.
Asked what measures could be put in place to improve the agricultural sector, he said, “There are many things that have to be done, but the key is to have infrastructure. You need to reduce the cost of production of the farmer, transportation, accessibility to the imports to the market.”
According to him, “Those things are key to making sure that the farmer production cost is down but more importantly that he has access to technology that will lead him to increase his productivity and with productivity they can make more money and be able to continue to invest in their business.”
He said “the transporter has to charge according what he thinks is the best price. The prices are fixed.
“If you have to hire a truck to take maize from Tumu like I said it’s about $60 metric tonnes, but that is the reality on the market. But to take a bulk vessel from Argentina is about $25, $30 per metric tonnes. It’s there. There is nothing magical about it. That’s the kind of system we have.”
By Melvin Tarlue