Ghana - High risk farm investment
Ghana has been rated "moderately unsatisfactory" in the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) country programme evaluation due to project design problems and delays in start- up and implementation of programmes.
"Though the country scored four on the scale of one to six, there is lot of room for improvement and the need to step up the game", Food and Agriculture Minister Kwesi Ahwoi, said at a National Round Table workshop in Accra on Wednesday.
He said extension of project and delays in meeting deadlines were not good enough and that though excuses could be given only when project did not start on schedule, it was equally not the best.
The objectives of the Country Programme Evaluation (CPE) are to assess the performance and impact of IFAD operations and generate findings and recommendations that will provide a basis for the next country strategy in Ghana to be prepared between IFAD and the Government.
This notwithstanding, the Agriculture Minister said government was more than determined to transform agriculture from rudimentary characteristics to a modernized one.
This would be anchored in a value chain approach to ensure enhanced productivity, more processing and value addition, aggressive marketing and less drudgery, culminating in food security and increased income, reduction in poverty and contribution to the overall economic growth.
He said emerging issues such as poverty in the Northern part of the country were pertinent and wondered why poverty was endemic in the Region despite huge investment in the area and therefore called for a sector wide approach to nib poverty in the bud.
Seed subsidization would soon start in earnest to complement fertilizer subsidies to improve agricultural development and reduce poverty.
According to him, transforming the agricultural sector "cannot happen without deliberate and intensified prioritization of Agriculture in resource allocation and investment.
We cannot continue to pay lip service to the transformation agenda despite the challenges of infrastructure, finance, lack of market and frail private sector among other things."
He noted that preliminary results of a research conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Ghana Institute of Public Management and Administration (GIMPA) on four key programmes being implemented to address productivity and market challenges were positive.
"The study indicated that mechanization services have improved, fertilizer use was reported to have increased from eight Kilograms per hectare to 13.5 kilograms per hectare with maize yields increasing from 1.5 metric tonnes per hectare to 1.8 metric tonnes.
Mr Kelvin Cleaver, Associate Vice President, Programme Management Department of IFAD commended the Government for supporting IFAD which had a positive impact on the poor.
He stressed the need for transfer of technical knowledge for micro enterprises in the area of agriculture to enable them undertake various projects to improve their lives and called for more funding for the Northern Sector.
The findings of the CPE recommended the strengthening of analytical work in Country Strategy Opportunities Programme (COSOP) preparation and project design, continued sub-sectoral programmes with focus on the Upper West Region.
Other recommendations include reviewing of successful regional experiences and explore opportunities to cooperate with initiatives and support national monitoring and evaluation systems in partnership with national and international social science research institutions.
Source: newsroom - farmingnewsdaily.co.uk