The United Nations Development Planning (UNDP) in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has appealed to firms and organizations in the Agri-business sector to engage and benefit from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiatives.
According to the two organizations, this will enable them to make good use of the opportunities that AfCFTA would make available to boost the Agri-business sector.
This came to light in a presentation by the Head of Industrial, Statistics and Coordinator Of Business Surveys Mr. Anthony Kakrah, on the Impact Of Covid-19 Agribusiness In Ghana-Preliminary Findings at the Aruba Hotel, Aburi Eastern Region where a section of journalists were trained on the 10th June 2021.
Mr. Kakrah noted that 25% of Agribusiness firms in Ghana have an idea about AfCFTA while on other hand 75% of Agribusiness firms have no idea about AfCFTA.
He highlighted the top three support needed by the agribusinesses to participate in AfCFTA including Increased information on business opportunities(24.7%), Reduced cost of credit(20.6%), Removing policy or regulatory bottlenecks (16.3%).
The survey also revealed that there was a decline in sales by close to 48.8% and during the lockdown but improved to 41.2% after the lockdown.
“During the lockdown period, 84,869 agribusiness firms reported an average monthly decrease in sales but currently as many as 77,254 firms still report that compared to the period a year ago sales has declined”.
During the lockdown relative to other sectors, a higher proportion of agribusiness firms in the services sector(73.1%) report a decline in sales than other sectors.
The post lockdown period in the survey shows that the tbs proportion of firms affected by the decline in sales is higher for the industry sector.
Relatively throughout the period firms in the agribusiness sector were least affected.
On supply shocks on agribusinesses compared to the same period a year many agribusiness firms reported that supply inputs declined during the lockdown(52.4%) and post lockdown(45.9%).
Disruptions in the global supply chain and border closure measures to mitigate the effect of a pandemic could be key factors.
Mrs. Praise Nutakor, the Head of Communications, UNDP said the training was necessitated because GSS and UNDP often produced research reports on various aspects of development to inform policy decisions.
Mrs. Nutakor was confident the training would help improve the knowledge and understanding of journalists in writing compelling stories and effectively communicate the results of data analysis and also get a basic understanding of statistical methods and terminologies.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a free trade area founded in 2018, with trade commencing as of 1 January 2021. It was created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 African Union nations.
The free-trade area is the largest in the world in terms of the number of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
Accra, Ghana serves as the Secretariat of AfCFTA and was commissioned and handed over to the AU by the President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo on August 17, 2020, in Accra.