Ghana’s Agriculture sector, until recently was the mainstay of the economy, employing about 43 percent of the population, particularly those living in the hinterlands on formal and informal basis.
The services sector, however has been and continues to drive the economy currently.
It accounted for about 50% of total GDP from 2012 to 2014.
The agriculture sector in Ghana comprises of crop production and livestock.
Even though livestock agriculture is widespread in Ghana, it is on a low scale with pockets of poultry, cattle rearing, and grass cutter rearing, among others.
The agriculture sector largely has been driven by the crop sub-sector with cocoa, contributing substantially to the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
The sector is blessed with various climatic zones such as dry savanna and wetlands that support a variety of crop production including rice, cocoa, maize oil palm, cotton, rubber, mango, tuber, and kola nuts.
Agriculture in Ghana predates to the 15th century before the Europeans colonized the then Gold Coast.
The type of agriculture practiced in that era was largely subsistence agriculture. Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah used agriculture wealth as a catalyst to speed Ghana’s economic development.
Even though Ghana exports many agriculture products, the principal export earner in the sector is cocoa.
According to the 2015 national budget, the sector recorded the highest output growth of 5.3% in 2014 (2013-5.2%) as against a target growth of 5.2 %.
The Crops-sub-sector which includes cocoa, was the largest contributor (74%) to the Agriculture sector output in 2014, and grew by 3.6% in 2014 against a target output of 5.8%.
In Ghana, modernization of the sector has been a perennial issue for decades.
In the 2014 budget, government provided US$5million to 31 investors under the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project to support infrastructure projects for agribusiness investment.
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