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01 October 2016

USAID gives major boost to northern agriculture

agricNorthern Ghana, with a mainly agro-based economy, over the years has witnessed and continued to witness severe poverty levels associated with policy gaps that needed to be tackled to unleash the potential for increased agricultural production.

The performance of key regional and district government actors was critical to an enabling environment for civil society and private sector actors to secure agricultural investments, improve governance and outcomes for the entire agricultural sector.

In order to ensure more responsive governance for improved agriculture, increase food security and nutrition in northern Ghana, a five-year USAID-supported project known as the Northern Ghana Governance Activity has been launched in Bolgatanga, the capital of the Upper East Region.

Being implemented in 26 districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions, the objectives of the project were to – build institutional capacity for agricultural development, improve civil society participation on local governance and increase community dialogue and consensus building to prevent conflict.

The NGGA was being implemented by a consortium led by CARE International and including ActionAid Ghana, SEND-Ghana and the West Africa Network for Peace-Building in Ghana.

Speaking at the launch of the project, Mr. Michael Alandu-Chief of Party, CARE International, Northern Ghana Governance Project, said the project was intended to close the gap towards improved agricultural production by focusing on governance deficits that have been identified as hindering investments in agriculture in northern Ghana.

According to him, the goal of the project will be achieved by tackling three key barriers to improved agricultural development. These included a weak decentralised governmental system; an inadequate civic engagement, and insufficient women’s participation at key levels.

Mr. Alandu emphasised that the project will address the challenges to increased agricultural production in order to achieve its stated goal of strengthened responsive governance for improved agricultural development in Ghana through cost-effective and evidence-based solutions that were intended to respond to the four expected results namely; strengthened institutional capacity for effective coordination and integration of key actors in decentralised agricultural development; improved enabling environment for community organizations and the private sector to participate as equal partner in decentralization and agricultural development; enhanced women’s participation in local governance and increased access to agricultural information and opportunities; and increased community dialogue and consensus building to prevent conflict and ensure sustainable development in agriculture.

He said the target beneficiaries of the project were approximately 1.5 million people including 59 government bodies, 130 community and civil society organizations, 500 women associations and 3 traditional authority councils.

Mr. Alandu observed that the success of the work of the consortium required the consistent constructive engagement with the prime actors of the development in agriculture including the regional and district administrations.

Launching the project, Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Albert Abongo, pledged full support of the Regional Coordinating Council and the municipal and district assemblies to the consortium towards the full achievement of the planned result of the project.

 

Source: thechronicle

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