STATEMENT BY FBOS’ ON THE OCASSION OF THE LAUNCHING OF THE MEDIUM TERM AGRICULTURE SECTOR INVESTMENT PLAN,
MOVENPICK AMBASSADOR HOTEL, ACCRA, JULY 21, 2011
A few weeks ago, MOFA and its Development Partners including other relevant non state actors carried out successfully the 2010 Agriculture Sector Performance Review in order to find out whether implementation arrangements as contained in its strategy document (FASDEP II) are on track.
This singular activity of MOFA is worthy to be commended since it offers an opportunity for non state actors to understand the extent to which The Ministry is able to manage on annual basis her human, technical, logistics and financial resources to achieve targets that they have set as the agriculture sector contribution to the national economy.
Once again, we have assembled in this fine edifice, the reconstructed Former Ambassador Hotel, now Movenpick Ambassador to launch the METASIP that would span the period 2011 to 2015.
As I have indicated in October 2009 during the roundtable to sign the compact, key major FBOs in the country have reposition themselves to partner Government and Development Partners as well as other non state actors to accelerate Government agenda.
Only yesterday, the Ghana Federation of Agricultural Producers met in Accra at a Workshop to sensitize members on the Fertilizer Subsidy Implementation Guidelines. The purpose was to go through the contents in the document, do the necessary critic and make cogent suggestions in order to sustain the programme. As end users of every government policies and services, it is very critical to solicit inputs from us in designing programmes so that we can be identified and own the process.
GFAP members since the CAADP roundtable conference have participated in some capacity training programs key among them; Budget tracking by OXFAM, Leadership skills by AfricaLead/DAI and the institution of the Public/Private Dialogue Forum by the Private Enterprise Foundation. However, some organizations are also running programmes without the knowledge of GFAP and is not in consonant with CAADP principles of harmonization and building on existing institutions.
As the global financial situation become unstable, especially in Europe and elsewhere, the implementation process between now and 2015 might pose financial constraints since there is already a big financial gab in the METASIP.
We may have to look within our local partners to support some critical activities that will spur growth and indicate visibly the evidence in improvement in rural livelihoods. Studies that FBOs have conducted indicate that the interest in supporting Farmers Day Celebrations by Agricultural Related business is waning. We must find out what incentives are needed to bring their interest back. A number such companies also after making money in the agriculture sector tend to sponsor activities in the music, entertainment and sports. We cannot play games and entertainment on empty stomachs and enjoy to our satisfaction. The new global food crisis is an opportunity for us as a nation to harness the technical and financial resources in order to attract the youth in the agriculture sector.
The Ghana Federation of Agricultural Producers would like to recommend the following:
- Ministry to go back to the shelves and pick the District Rural Infrastructure Development Strategies (DRIDS) which were developed by the various Districts Assemblies during the implementation of the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP) and use them as tools for developing the infrastructure base for processing, storage and local marketing of commodities.
- All research activities by local and foreign universities must be demand driven and the results disseminated as widely as possible for the purpose of information and knowledge sharing.
- The Irrigation College at Kpong and the defunct Kpong Farms for VRA must be rehabilitated to provide practical agricultural training on the lines of the, Bok Nam Kim Center in Ghana, the Practical Training Center in Holland and elsewhere to the youth
- The FBO desk at the Extension Directorate must be restructured to effectively and efficiently coordinate the activities of GFAP. It must serve as the Secretariat of the GFAP in order to harmonize and eliminate duplication of activities within the FBO sector.
I thank you all for your attention.
John Awuku Dziwornu