The Program Coordinator of the Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) Global Engagement Unit of the World Bank, Dr Farbod Youssefi, has urged the government to strengthen regulations in the agricultural sector and improve the efficiency in their implementation to create an enabling environment for agribusiness.
That, he said, would ensure the efficiency of agricultural value chains, and the safety and quality of agricultural goods and services.
Speaking exclusively to the Graphic Business during a workshop on the dissemination of the World Bank EBA 2017 report in Accra on February 1, Dr Youssefi indicated that although there were some good laws that impacted the enabling business environment for agriculture in the country, the government must improve the efficiency of their implementation.
“There is a long list of recommendations but notably, improving efficiency in the processes, because there are a number of strong regulations but when it comes to implementing them, then there is an issue; so the processes should be reviewed to understand, for example, it takes so much time to register seed varieties.
“When it comes to the process of registering variety, it is the second most expensive and the fourth lengthiest among the 62 countries studied,” he explained.
EBA measures regulatory framework
The EBA is a joint project of the World Bank’s Agriculture Global Practice and Global Indicators Group. The 2017 edition is the third report in the series that presents data that measure legal barriers for businesses operating in agriculture in 62 countries across 12 topic areas.
It provides quantitative indicators on regulation for seed, fertiliser, machinery, finance, markets, transport, information and communications technology (ICT) and water.
The report, which focuses on 62 countries around the world, identified and provided key data on regulatory frameworks that are globally comparable and actionable to strengthen the information base that can be used for policy dialogue and reform.
Dr Youssefi maintained that although laws and regulations formed the basis for improving the enabling environment for agribusiness, “the EBA measures a key piece in the picture of an enabling environment for the business of agriculture”.
“So we talk about seeds, and there was a discussion about implementing regulations; but what about – for instance – the distributor network which is not something we measure, but it is important because though we look at regulations, if you have strong regulations but you don’t have other necessary elements or conditions, there are still going to be issues because there are other things that help build the enabling environment such as policies, support services, extension services and infrastructure,” he said.