Agriculture key contributor to rural poverty reduction – FAO

By
Morkporkpor Anku, GNA

Accra, Oct. 12, GNA – The Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) says agriculture is the key contributor to rural poverty
reduction.

Dr Abebe Haile-Gabriel, the FAO Representative
to Ghana, said agriculture is the mainstay of the majority of the rural people,
where poverty is quite concentrated.

Dr Haile-Gabriel was speaking at a South-South
Cooperation policy dialogue workshop focusing on rural poverty reduction
programmes in Accra.

The event, which saw participants from
Senegal, Kenya, Liberia and India, was to provide opportunity to share the
results, experiences and lessons of the current Rural Development Programmes
with key actors within and outside of Ghana.

The dialogue organised in agreement with the
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the FAO is to focus on
how these experiences from the programmes can be harnessed to improve on rural
economies and the consumption of poor rural households.

The dialogue is also aimed at contributing to
the creation of regional capacities in the area of reducing rural poverty
strategies for food and nutrition security through the concept of knowledge
sharing platforms.

He said, however, the agenda of ending poverty
could be achieved through a successful agricultural transformation taking place
in Africa.

He said the Malabo Declaration adopted by the
AU Heads of States envisaged a contribution from agriculture of at least half
of the target at national level, through inclusive sustainable agriculture and
value-chain development.

The FAO Representative said Ghana stands to
offer practical examples in a number of rural development solutions such as the
Planting for Export and Rural Development, the establishment of the district
centres for Agricultural Commerce and Technology and the Ghana Social Opportunity
Project.

He said the UN Development Sustainable
Partnership of Ghana, in which FAO played an active part, was aimed at
supporting the efforts of Ghana through delivering on strategic results areas.

These areas are building and sustaining shared
prosperity economy, in which productive agriculture drives sustainable
industrialisation, improved livelihoods and ensures a hunger and
malnutrition-free nation; as well as for a competitive private sector to
generate decent jobs that increases opportunities for more inclusive economic
growth.

He expressed the hope that participants would
be able to deliberate on the challenges relating to implementing rural poverty
reduction programmes in their respective countries and collectively come up
with good strategies and options for dealing with these challenges.

Mr Collins Ntim, a Deputy Minister for Local
Government and Rural Development, said Ghana over the years has initiated a
number of pro-poor programmes and interventions aimed at reducing hunger and
poverty across the country.

He said these interventions contributed to the
country achieving in 2015, the feat of the first country on the African
continent to attain the target set by the MDGs and the World Food Summit in
halving the proportion of the population suffering from undernourishment by
2015.

He said some of the innovative programmes
currently ongoing in the country and linked to the achievement of the SDGs,
especially SDGs and SDGs 2 are as follows the Nations Builders Corp, Planting
for Export and Rural Development Programme, Planting for Food and Jobs and One
District, One Factory Initiative.

She said Ghana recognises knowledge
generation, gathering and sharing across sectors would be important in
achieving all the SDGs.

“Our actions at the country level are guided
by a strong drive to document and store all forms of knowledge to be generated
during implementation of these programmes and initiatives, especially in
relation to the success and challenges, with the aim of sharing nationally and
internationally, through South-South Cooperation Scheme,” he added.

GNA

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