SEND-Ghana leads discussions on donor investment in agriculture

By
D.I. Laary, GNA

Accra, Aug. 30 GNA – SEND-Ghana, a civil
society organisation, has begun a national stakeholders’ dialogue on donor
inflows to Ghana’s agricultural sector to curb problems relating to the impact
of donor investment.

Policy makers and implementers, researchers,
civil society groups, and development partners thought through research
findings of donor assistance over the years to support food security and solve
problems confronting smallholder, women, and rural farmers.

Mr Siapha Kamara, Chief Executive Officer of
SEND-Ghana said government needs to give priority to the agricultural sector,
given its huge important roles in the economy as major source of livelihoods to
many people, especial the rural poor.

What the sector required, he noted, is not
just provision of capital in agricultural budget but qualitative investment
that aims at getting the nation to focus on activities of small scale farmers
and food production.

Smallholder and women farmers, in
particular, should be given access to improved seeds and quality extension
services to boost their output and guarantee food security, he added.

Mr Kamara expressed worry that often times,
huge part of agriculture budget are sunk into cocoa and export schemes at the
neglect of food production to sustain the national economy.

“Holding government accountable for
agriculture budget is very important that agriculture becomes important
component or priority of government expenditure,” he said.

The Country Director for Oxfam Ghana, Mr
Sebastian Tia, noted that five per cent of citizens are food insecure,
describing the development as unacceptable.

He asked for stakeholders support to build
momentum on influencing private-public sector investment in agricultural and
expand fertilizer subsidy to many smallholder farmers.

An independent consultant, Mr Evans Gyampoh,
presented a draft report on the analysis of the World Bank and the USAID
agriculture aid to Ghana from 2011 to 2014.

He said the report showed heavy
concentration of multilateral and bilateral support in the poorest regions of
Ghana, but there may not to be any significant impact on poverty reduction and
improvement in the quality of lives of the beneficiary communities in these
regions.

He enumerated major needs of smallholder
farmers such as unavailability or insufficient credit facilities, access to
credit itself, poor adoption of agronomic practices and ineffective extension
services.

There is also poor aid co-ordination in the
agriculture sector, he said, because there is confusion over which document to
use.

SEND Ghana is a subsidiary of SEND
Foundation of West Africa,

GNA

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