Business News of Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Stakeholders on the Northern Ghana Governance Activity (NGGA) project in the Bawku Municipality have met to streamline budget guidelines for agricultural development in the area.
This follows the fact that most of the assembly budget plans normally do not favour the development of agriculture in the Bawku area.
The stakeholders who included; assembly members, traditional rulers, women groups, youth groups into agriculture, Community Based Organisations (CBO), farmer groups and heads of the budget and planning departments of the assembly identified issues that would aid the restructuring of the budget to consider the development of agriculture in the area.
The project, which is being implemented by CARE International, SEND-Ghana, Actionaid, and West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP) and funded by the USAID on Tuesday educated the participants on the need to rationalize the budget plans of the assemblies in order to favour the development of agricultural activities in the area.
Farming has become one of the main sources of income to majority of the people in the area. As high as 60.8 percent of households in the Municipality are engaged in agriculture.
In the rural localities, five out of ten households representing 51.2 percent are agricultural households, while in the urban localities, 48.8 percent of households are into agriculture.
Besides, about 54.6 percent of households in the Municipality are involved in livestock production such as Poultry which is the dominant in the district.
The participants at a group work session identified issues including; the lack of provision of farm equipment, farm transport, access to credit loans, and adequate farm inputs as some of the needs always missing in the budget.
They hinted that there was high mortality of livestock due to unavailability of medicines to treat the animals and low visibility of agricultural extension officers were major factors and called for intervention in that area.
Mr Gregory Titigah, Coordinator for Civil Society Organization strengthening and Advocacy at SEND-Ghana in a presentation indicated that, the project sought to ensure more responsive governance for improved agricultural development in the country.
MrTitigah said this could be achieved through strengthening institutional capacities for effective coordination and integration of key actors in the decentralised agricultural development.
He pointed out that the project was aimed at improving enabling environment for community organization and the private sector to participate in the decentralised agricultural development.
Ms Kalian Sampoa Gumah, Project officer for the project in the Upper East Region entreated women to actively participate in the project as it would enhance women participation in local governance and increase their access to agricultural information and opportunities.
She gave the assurance that there would be increased community dialogue and consensus building to prevent conflict, and ensure sustainable development in agriculture.
Mr Charles Akwotiga, Director in charge of Agriculture in the Bawku Municipality assured the participants that the new inputs would be factored into the assembly’s medium term development plans to enable the assembly make provisions for them.
He said agriculture was the backbone of the economy urging stakeholders find ways of improving it to promote food security and bring about quality livelihood for Ghanaians.