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Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme launched in Wa

By
Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA

Wa, July 8, GNA – The Market-Oriented
Agriculture Programme (MOAP) has been launched in Wa, with the aim of creating
an enabling environment for investment in agriculture infrastructure in the
north western part of Ghana.

MOAP which is a 160 million Euros project is
co-financed by the European Union under the 11th European
Development Fund (EDF) and the German Government.

It is being implemented by the Ministry of
Food and Agriculture (MoFA) with support from the German International
Co-operation (GIZ).

Dr Nurah Gyiele, a Minister of State at MoFA
who launched the programme in Wa on Friday noted that the allocation of such
resources to agricultural development in the savannah agro-ecological zone six
was significant and in line with Government’s efforts to bridge the development
gap between the north and the south.

He said there was no doubt among development
actors at the global, regional and national levels that the agriculture sectors
of developing economies like Ghana needed to be transformed to trigger the
socio-economic development of these nations.

Dr Gyiele said it was also important to note
that 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that all nations signed
unto in 2015 had direct relation to agriculture.

He pointed out however that they could not
achieve these SDGs and the ambitious targets of the Malabo Declaration on
Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and
Improved Livelihoods, if they did not intensify their efforts to develop
agriculture.

“We cannot guarantee speedy agricultural
transformation if yields of many crops grown in Ghana are still below 50 per
cent of their potential; if less than 20 per cent of farmers are using improved
planting material and if fertilizer uptake has only increased from 8kg/ha to
20kg/ha in the last eight years”, he emphasized.

He added that the lack of quality standards of
the country’s agricultural produce was limiting agricultural trade and access
to international markets.

Dr Gyiele noted that government’s commitment
to respond to the call for action from the global and continental level was
seen in its programmes such as the “Planting for Food and Jobs” and other
interventions it intended to roll out next year.

He said the project would start with the
implementation of component two of the project, which according to him was the
core, based on the fact that it was intended to build the capacity of the
assemblies and all actors that would participate in the agricultural value
chains in order for them to do things differently to bring about increased
productivity and incomes.

GIZ has been delegated by the EU to implement
components two and three of the project while the infrastructure component
would be jointly implemented by the World Bank and the Agence Francaise
Development (DFD).

The programme will be implemented across all
11 districts of the Upper West Region and three adjoining districts and
Sawla/Tuna/Kalba, North Gonja and Mamprugu Moagduri in the Northern Region.

The value chains selected for improvement
include groundnuts, soya, rice, sorghum, vegetables, cashew and Mango.

GNA

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