African savannahs occupy some 400 million hectares in 25 countries. Of that surface, only 10 percent is used. These countries spend about US $ 35,000 million per year on food imports and the forecast is for that figure to jump to US $ 110,000 million by 2025 if nothing is done about an expansion plan for agriculture.
Ghana has an area of 238,538 km2 and a population of 28.4 million inhabitants. It is a State of West Africa that borders Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Côte d'Ivoire to the west. According to various reports, agriculture represents more than 50% of employment, especially in the cocoa sector. Gold and oil have a preponderance in exports. China is making different investments in that country.
According to the NATION Grobocopatel, in Ghana at least could be put into production between 1 and 2 million hectares in "competitive and sustainable agriculture in the coming years." Not all of the 400 million hectares of the savannahs can be put into production because there are environmental and edaphic restrictions.
-How was the consulting work for Ghana born?
-At the beginning of the year, the African Development Bank requested a job within the framework of TASI (Initiative for the Transformation of Savannas) to study the competitiveness of protein value chains, based on the production of soybeans and corn and its transformation into meats. This issue is relevant, since in Ghana, and in almost all of West Africa, 70% of the population consumes less protein than the minimum recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
-How was the work team put together?
-Alarmos from Los Grobo a team of Argentines, Brazilians (experts in tropical agriculture) and technicians in Ghana and the conclusion we reached is that the agriculture in the savannahs is competitive, solving some simple issues, but that must be addressed systemically .
-What things are required to facilitate development?
-In addition to the incorporation of technology (we were working with the people of Aapresid), it is necessary to facilitate access to knowledge by stimulating the migration of expert brains, the formalization of agreements with local communities, the territorial ordering, the selection of better soils (quality is very uneven), facilitate access to the best germplasm, investment in the transformation of these grains into meats and, of course, financing. We also suggest the creation of an organization that coordinates these initiatives with the participation of the public and private sectors.
-What framework can be given to that plan?
-This work should be framed within the launch of a more intense relationship between our country and West Africa, where more than 300 million consumers demand what in Argentina we best know how to do: food and the know-how to make them.
Published by: www.lanacion.com.ar
Automatic translation from spanish.