The Investing for Food and Jobs (IFJ): An Agenda for Transforming Ghana’s Agriculture (2018-2021) has been developed to operationalise the vision of the Government of Ghana as indicated in the Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework (MTNDPF) which is titled “Agenda for Jobs: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All (2018-2021)”. It also domesticates international development frameworks such as the SDGs at the global level; CAADP-Malabo declaration at the continental level; and the ECOWAP at the regional level. The thrust of this medium term plan is to transform the agricultural sector through Government investing at least 10% of the national budget into agriculture with a corresponding annual sector growth rate of at least 6% within the plan period as enshrined in the Malabo declaration.
The transformed agricultural sector is expected to open up the potentials to increase incomes, create jobs and provide raw materials to industry with a strong focus on creating an enabling environment for private sector operators and other actors within the various commodity value chains. The innovative flagship programmes of the Government including the Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Rearing for Food and Jobs, One-District-One Factory, One-District- One-Warehouse, among others, have been planned based on the adopted objectives and key strategies from the Agenda for Jobs (2018-2021). These initiatives will be implemented under the programme areas to ensure goals set for the sector are achieved. The agricultural sector is the highest employer of the country’s labour force engaging 41.9% (2017) mainly in production of crops and livestock, fishing, processing and marketing of agricultural produce (ILO, 2017).
The key development issues identified include: (i) low level of public sector investment; (ii) low institutional capacity of the public sector at all the three levels of government to deliver the enabling environment for the growth of the sector; (iii) poor marketing systems; (iv) inadequate access to land and security of tenure for agriculture production; (v) low transfer and uptake of research findings; (vi) low application of science and technology especially among smallholder farmers; (vii) low quality of genetic material for crop, livestock and fish species; (vii) poor agronomic practices; (ix) poor husbandry practices and handling of livestock/poultry products; (x) inadequate quality feed and water standards for livestock and poultry; (xi) lack of modern housing for livestock and poultry production; (xii) inadequate disease monitoring and surveillance system; (xiii) inadequate access to appropriate mechanisation services; (xiv) lack of appropriate water management systems for agricultural production; and (xv) poor construction and management of irrigation infrastructure.
The key agricultural sector development issues are not to be addressed exclusively by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The mandates of several other ministries, departments and agencies impact significantly on the agricultural sector, hence the need for effective inter-ministerial collaboration, consultation and cooperation. This plan adopts the instrument-based approach which has programmes with corresponding sub-programmes, investment areas and policy tools. It entails 4 Programmes, 13 Sub-Programmes, 39 Investment Areas and 82 Policy Tools.
The plan also seeks to address cross cutting issues which include biodiversity, climate change and environmental management, agricultural employment, gender equity, poverty, inequality & social protection and food & nutrition security.
The plan will be implemented within the decentralisation framework which makes use of the existing structures of MDAs at the national level, RCCs and MMDAs at the decentralised levels. Particularly, the District Agricultural Departments are expected to: understand the agricultural aspects of the NMTDPF together with this plan; incorporate relevant aspects into the district assembly composite plan; and also convince the district authorities why priority should be given to planned agricultural activities.
The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Plan for the IFJ has been developed as a separate document. Strong collaboration and coordination is required among stakeholders for effective implementation and monitoring for results. MoFA’s coordination as well as monitoring and evaluation roles are very critical in the implementation of this plan. The Policy Planning, xvi
Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate in collaboration with SRID of MoFA will have the responsibility of coordinating the agricultural sector M&E and lead in the collection, collation and analysis of M&E data. The Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation and the NDPC will play key oversight roles during plan implementation.
A summary of the cost estimates of the plan for the various programmes and sub-programmes are shown below. A total estimated cost of about GH₵9.543 Billion (which excludes that of the cocoa sub-sector strategy) is required for the plan period. It must be noted that the estimated cost of the plan is with respect to public funds. The private sector, especially farmers, will have to invest adequately in the sector to achieve the plan objectives. Development Partners, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations will also have to play their expected roles effectively.