1.0 Public Stakeholder Consultation and Participation
The Government of Ghana is seeking financial assistance from the World Bank to finance the preparation of the GCAP – Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project. The project preparation is under the overall responsibility of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). The development objective of GCAP is to improve the investment climate for agri-business and establish inclusive Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) and smallholder linkages aimed at increasing on-farm productivity and value addition in selected value chains in both the both the Accra Plains and the SADA region.
The World Bank safeguard policies on Environmental Assessment (OP 4.01), Involuntary Resettlement (OP 4.12) and Pest Management (OP 4.09) have been triggered. At this initial stage of the Project, MoFA is required to prepare Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) and Pest Management Plan (PMP) to guide project preparation and approval from the World Bank in particular.
The broad objective of the stakeholder engagement and involvement process was to provide authorities, as well as interested and affected parties with the opportunity to identify issues, concerns, and opportunities regarding the proposed Project and to address key stakeholder concerns during the preparation of the various safeguard policy documents (ESMF, RPF and PMP) for the Project.
1.2 Specific Objectives of Stakeholder Consultations
Consultations with stakeholders were carried out as part of the safeguard documents (ESMF, RPF and PMP) preparation to specifically achieve the following objectives:
- To provide information about the project and to tap stakeholder information on key environmental and social baseline information in the project areas;
- To provide opportunities to stakeholders to discuss their opinions and concerns;
- To manage expectations and misconceptions regarding the project;
- To discuss potential impacts and verify significant or major environmental, social and health impacts identified; and
- To inform the process of developing appropriate mitigation and management measures as well as institutional arrangements for effective implementation.
1.3 Stakeholder Identification
The stakeholder identification was based on issues related to the project scope of works, the geopolitical and traditional setting of the project areas, previous consultations carried out under the prefeasibility study by STUDI International & Co. Apart from the proponent (MoFA), the main considerations in the stakeholder group selection process were:
- Environmental and agriculture sectors regulatory institutions;
- Local government authorities (district/municipal assemblies);
- Traditional authorities;
- Local communities which are likely to be directly affected by the project;
- Other government institutions which may be involved or have direct interest (e.g. SADA, natural resource management bodies); and
- Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s).
The methodology employed included:
- One-to-one meetings with key officials or opinion leaders;
- Questionnaire Administration
- Structured Interviews with key institutional heads or officials; and
- Public workshops.
Three public workshops were organized where various focus groups (targeting farmers, women, youth and community/traditional leaders) were invited. One public workshop was held in the Accra Plains (at Mepe) and two in the SADA region (at Tamale). The local dialects (Ewe and Dagbani) were used in addition to the English Language during the engagement periods.
1.5 Major Outcomes and Key Concerns Raised from the Public Workshops
- Sustainability of Project with regard to the geopolitical situation of the country
- Land acquisition, equity and compensation issues
- Settler farmers and compensation issues
- PAPs and engagement of lawyer and private valuation experts
- Awareness creation and education of farmers and local communities on Project
- Training of farmers on pesticide handling, usage and management of pesticide containers
- Pollution of water sources used by communities for drinking
- Youth employment
- Project benefit sharing
- Inclusion of malaria and bilharzias control programmes
- Control of cattle movement in the area
- Compensation for destruction of fodder and wild economic trees
- Consideration of livestock as part of project
1.6 Way Forward
The next step is the public disclosure of final ESMF, RPF and PMP (reviewed and cleared by both GoG & World Bank/ASPEN) both in-country (in project sites and official journals) and at the WB InfoShop prior to appraisal.