GHANA: VALUE ADDITION METHODOLOGIES AND EXPORT DIVERSIFICATION PLATFORMS BY EMMANUEL BOTCHWEY

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While prayers and the recognition of God are critical in the daily lives of Ghanaians, they should know prosperity will not drop from the heavens and transform Ghana. Incidentally this applies to both developed and developing countries. Ghanaians will need to make that happen….which is.. there is the need for a paradigm shift whereby all stakeholders, the formal sector, the informal sector, public and private sector, institutions of higher education, the government all political parties recognize to add higher value to what God had endowed on Ghana in the form of abundant natural resources before their sale on the global market. There is also an urgent need to have export diversification platforms. If these are done correctly jobs will be created from the inherent “multiplier effect” that is associated with value addition methodologies, this will strengthen the local currency the cedi as against foreign currencies, increase the “shelf lives” of processed food as against farming produce, yield more foreign exchange, improve the standard of living of Ghanaians, it will give credence to indigenous technology and open the floodgates for the award of patents to inventors and researchers in Ghana. In addition to this, it will diversify the economy of Ghana.

Diversified economies are capable of withstanding global shocks than economies that are not diversified like Ghana’s. The reason why countries like Japan, China and Germany are rich is simple.. they have added higher value to natural resources before their sale on the International market….that is shifting from low tech goods to high tech goods.

Question….why will a small country which has much less natural resources than Ghana for example LUXEMBOURG in Europe have GDP per capita income standing at $80,200 (2012 established) and is ranked 5th globally while Ghana with all its natural resources is ranked in terms of GDP per capita income 173rd with GDP standing at $3,300 (2012 established)? These rich countries have done what they need to do  economically and strategically by adding higher value to natural resources/services and have successfully embarked on export diversification platforms (CIA World FactBook, 2012). Yes Ghana can do it with a paradigm shift! Of course this transformation has to take place under the atmosphere of  probity, accountability, morality and integrity.

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UNLOCKING AFRICA’S AGRICULTURAL POTENTIAL

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“African countries should invest in the agricultural sector and put in place market and production incentives to stimulate agricultural production, if they are to attain rural transformation, and lift their people from poverty,” says Bernard Bashaasha, an Associate Professor and agricultural expert, from Makerere University.

Africa is richly endowed with renewable and nonrenewable natural resources that can (if well utilized in a stable micro and macroeconomic environment) be used to effectively lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.  

In Northern part of Ethiopia, Northern Kenya, Somalia, Karamoja region of Uganda, Eritrea and Nigeria’s Delta and northern region, among others, millions of children are suffering from kwashakor and other diseases emanating from poor feeding.  In Uganda, for example, 17.7 million people are food insecure. Let us not forget that agriculture is a key sector in Africa, which significantly contributes about 40 percent, to the overall continental GDP, and employs about 80 percent of the continent’s citizens.    

Travelling across kingdom communities in Africa, one will witness squares miles of lands unutilized, simply because, they belong to the king or kingdom. African countries should urgently revise their land laws and design agricultural transformation oriented approaches. These approaches ought to clearly define how the land should be owned, utilized, in which capacity, for what purpose and in which time frame.

Organic food stuffs, are currently on high demand globally, due to their health benefits to the human body. In North America, Europe, Asia and South America, organic food products, are priced higher than the processed ones. African countries, should strike a balance between chemical agriculture and organic agriculture with a view to feeding this market.

Planting improved seed varieties greatly makes farmers to harvest more from their farms, besides enabling them to become food secure and improve their household incomes. African countries must establish and spread seed production centers to enable farmers access improved seed varieties at a fair price.

Sustainable production of seed varieties, will only be possible by building the capacity of agricultural researchers engaged in researching about various crops like rice, wheat, cassava, banana, maize, wheat, among others. There should also, be institutional building of soil scientists. African countries must, urgently fund their agricultural researchers and ensure that the researched information is always timely disseminated to farmers. The agricultural extension worker – farmer ratio which stands at 1:1,000, in most African countries needs reduction.

Some farmers have large chunks of land that they are not effectively utilizing for lack of machines like tractors. Establishing an agricultural development banks dedicated to advancing interest free loans to farmers will enable them acquire such machines. Farmers will also acquire technologies that overcome post-harvest losses and set up modern storage facilities. Wastage makes farmers to lose 40 percent of the perishable goods, 20-30 percent of semi perishable goods, and 5-15 percent of non-perishable goods.

Funding the establishment and use of low cost and large scale irrigation systems will make farmers to stop depending on rain-fed agriculture which is under threat from climate change.

Africa’s agricultural potential is unquestionable. This, coupled with the fact that global food prices are skyrocketing should motivate African countries to invest more in agriculture.

By Moses Hategeka

Ugandan based independent governance researcher, public affairs analyst, and writer.

Email: moseswiseman2000@gmail.com

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EMMANUEL BOTCHWEY

AGRIBUSINESS: DOES IT GO FAR ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN THE ECONOMIES OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES?

While it is a laudable idea for African countries to seriously embark on agribusiness on the continent for the sake of ensuring food security, does agribusiness by itself go far enough to sustain the economies of African countries?  This question has become significant in the wake of the increasing widening of the economic gap between poor nations and rich nations globally. In the African context it does to a great  extent create jobs and further ensures food security on the continent at a time the population growth  rate on the continent seems to be getting out of hand. In terms of sustaining the economies of Africa, it falls short of totally accomplishing the task. Instead embracing the adoption of value addition/value capturing technologies and ensuring export diversification platforms could be the panacea to the economic problems facing developing countries.  This simply means African governments should fully embrace the processing of the bulk of all natural resources before their sale on the international market  or massive industrialization on the continent .

Africa definitely needs to industrialize to stem the ever widening gulf between Africa or developing countries on one hand and Industrialized countries (developed countries). That means Africa should adopt/embrace value addition methodologies and value capturing methodologies and not only process raw materials before their sale on the international market but also have export diversification platforms.  Unfortunately, agribusiness by itself which is a vital component of the Value Addition process does not go far enough to fully boost African economies. Value addition encompasses four critical stages: production, processing, transporting and marketing. Each stage does not only enhance the value of the product or service but most importantly creates jobs for the local/national economy.  This may involve depending on the country: the processing of farming products, fishing products, mining products, drilling products, food gathering products, forestry products, hunting and quarrying.  While agribusiness confines itself to agriculture, Value Addition on the other hand covers the processing of all natural resources including the production of agricultural products which are vital to the sustainability of every economy.

That also means Africa should refocus on the production of high-tech goods instead of low tech goods which have been the mainstay of African economies. My research has proven that adding higher value to natural resources before their sale creates jobs because of its inherent “multiplier effect”; it enhances the flow of foreign exchange, it boosts and stabilizes the local economy; it diversifies the economy; value added goods or industrialized goods value more on the international market than raw materials which when exported have the tendency of creating jobs elsewhere at the expense of African countries; value addition or industrialization extends the “shelf life” of processed goods unlike selling them raw, it can boost food security which is a problem on the African continent and finally it enhances indigenous technology and could open the floodgates for the award of patents to African countries. This is a win win situation. My research has further proven that there is a direct link between the sectoral distribution pattern of the labor force/GDP and an overall GDP creation in the economy where a slimmer labor force/GDP in the primary sector and the subsequent increase in the labor force and GDP creation with progression from the secondary to the tertiary sector resulted in phenomenal cumulativeGDP growth per nation (Botchwey, 2012). Industrialized countries have more buoyant economies as a result of diversified economic platforms and Africans can follow suit by embarking on an aggressive industrialization process. Finally, diversified economies in general have the capacity to easily absorb global economic shocks which in the past have been catastrophic to fragile economies in Africa and the developing World in general.

For more details check these links:https://wwwbionomicfuel.com.createspace.com/3753615http://www.amazon.com/dp/1475155298http://www.amazon.it/dp/1475155298http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008MMY74S or ebotc@netzero.net

EMMANUEL BOTCHWEY • AGRIBUSINESS: DOES IT GO FAR ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN THE ECONOMIES OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES? :While it is a laudable idea

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EMMANUEL BOTCHWEY • Africa definitely needs to industrialize to stem the ever widening gulf between Africa or developing countries on one hand and Industrialized countries (developed countries). That means Africa should adopt/embrace value addition methodologies and value capturing methodologies and not only process raw materials before their sale on the international market but also have export diversification platforms.  Most African countries have embraced Agribusiness to boost their economies.  Unfortunately Agribusiness by itself which is a vital component of the Value Addition process does not go far enough to fully boost African economies. Value addition encompasses four critical stages: production, processing, transporting and marketing. Each stage does not only enhance the value of the product or service but most importantly creates jobs for the local/national economy.  This may involve depending on the country: the processing of farming products, fishing products, mining products, drilling products, food gathering products, forestry products, hunting and quarrying.  While agribusiness  confines itself to agriculture, Value Addition on the other hands covers the processing of all natural resources including the production of agricultural products which are vital to the sustainability of every economy.

That also means Africa should refocus on the production of high-tech goods instead of low tech goods which have been the mainstay of African economies. My research has proven that adding higher value to natural resources before their sale creates jobs because of its inherent “multiplier effect”; it enhances the flow of foreign exchange, it boosts and stabilizes the local economy; it diversifies the economy; value added goods or industrialized goods value more on the international market than raw materials which when exported have the tendency of creating jobs elsewhere at the expense of African countries; value addition or industrialization extends the “shelf life” of processed goods unlike selling them raw, it can boost food security which is a problem on the African continent and finally it enhances indigenous technology and could open the floodgates for the award of patents to African countries. This is a win win situation. My research has further proven that there is a direct link between the sectoral distribution pattern of the labor force/GDP and an overall GDP creation in the economy where a slimmer labor force/GDP in the primary sector and the subsequent increase in the labor force and GDP creation with progression from the secondary to the tertiary sector resulted in phenomenal cumulative GDP growth per nation (Botchwey, 2012). Industrialized countries have more buoyant economies as a result of diversified economic platforms and Africans can follow suit by embarking on an aggressive industrialization process. Finally, diversified economies in general have the capacity to easily absorb global economic shocks which in the past have been catastrophic to fragile economies in Africa and the developing World in general.

For more details check these links:https://wwwbionomicfuel.com.createspace.com/3753615http://www.amazon.com/dp/1475155298http://www.amazon.it/dp/1475155298http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008MMY74S or ebotc@netzero.net

 WHY AFRICA NEEDS TO INDUSTRIALIZE BY EMMANUEL BOTCHWEY • Africa