In Ghana, accelerating agricultural modernisation has been noted as one of the key priorities expected to drive the economic growth process towards sustainable poverty reduction. Strategies for achieving the objective of modernizing agriculture for a strong economy include:
Measures for productivity and production increases;
Acceleration of agricultural mechanization and embedded services;
Active engagement of the private sector through the Public Private Partnership framework in viable commodity value chains;
Development of large scale commercial farms in rice, maize, soya bean;
Enhanced access to short, medium to long term sustainable financial services and products; and
Strong inter-sectoral linkages, coordination and harmonized approaches to rural, agricultural and economic development.
Policy Dialogue Process:
The Agricultural Sector Working Group (ASWG) is a policy dialogue platform for engaging Government of Ghana (GoG) and Development Partners (DPs) on delivering on Chapter 4.1 of GSGDA (2010-2013) – “Accelerated Agricultural Modernisation”. These include:
- Accelerating the modernisation of agriculture through the implementation of the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II);
- Supporting the implementation of corresponding investment plan as detailed in the Medium-Term Agricultural Sector Investment Plan (METASIP);
- Ensuring an effective linkage between agriculture and industry. and
- Promoting effective communication and learning within Development Partners and with our partners
Presently 11 OECD-DAC members are engaged in the Agriculture Sector Group. According to this year’s (2011) budget, Development Partners provided about GhC 117.37m of a total MoFA budget of GhC 221.55m This is in addition to direct General Budget Support and other funding instruments outside GoG financial management systems. There are also a number of development partners from philanthropic foundations, NGOs and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who participate in the dialogue process of the Sector Group. There is increased interest from the private sector to invest in food production and processing in Ghana as well as in agro-fuels and other raw materials.
Finalization of Medium-Term Agricultural Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) with cost estimates, based on FASDEP.with official endorsement from GoG, DPs, ECOWAS and CAADP.
Establishment of CAADP Country Team to oversee the implementation and management of METASIP.
In line with enhanced sector coordination, the ASWG supports MoFA to conduct annual Joint Sector Reviews (4th JSR in June 2011) with joint recommendations to steer investments in the sector.
- Multi Donor Budgetary Support (MDBS) consultations and negotiations coordinated by MOFEP and the MDBS Core Group based on prior consultation at the sector level
- Monthly meetings of the DPs Agriculture Sector Group, jointly chaired by rotating DP representatives and MoFA.
- Three thematic MoFA – DP sub-groupschaired jointly by a MoFA Director and a DP for: (a) Policy, harmonization and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) issues; (b) Human Resource, Development & Management; and (c) Public Finance and Administration. These groups have met irregularly on demand, mandated by the dynamics of the issues at stake.
- Apart from the above joint engagements there are exchanges and dialogues between the individual DPs (or their agents) and MoFA on a broad variety of issues from policy to implementation issues and administrative requirements of individual DPs and their project implementation arrangements. These intensive exchanges are crucial for harmonised and effective DP contributions to the government’s development efforts.
Sector issues currently under focus
- Funding of METASIP and its steering /governance structures remain seriously inadequate. Overall GoG discretionary budget allocations to MoFA (in 2011) showed significant decline (30%) in resources for agricultural investments as against substantial increase in personal emoluments.
- The implementation of the METASIP is intended to drive the application of a Sector-Wide Approach (SWAp) as a funding mechanism and coordination tool. The process has slowed down and need to speeded up.
- Modernisation of the agricultural sector would require well functioning markets that are predictable, rules-based with standards trade regimes. This is a precondition for the agricultural commercialization process and the establishment of a commodities exchange which GoG is so keen to establish. The need for improvement in data /statistics is paramount in supporting the commercialization process and decision making in the sector.
- METASIP has been endorsed as a strong over-arching investment plan for the entire agricultural sector, not just MoFA. It requires the commitment and participation of all stakeholders, especially financial service providers, for better delivery of financial services and products as new programmes initiated by GoG would require medium to long term lending instruments.
- The implementation of Public-Private- Partnerships (PPP) in agriculture would require MoFA to up its skills better facilitate the process..
- A Communication Strategy drafted by MOFA to guide the implementation of METASIP has stalled. The strategy seeks to re-enforce decentralised planning and review processes with local actors at the district and regional levels. MoFA is encouraged to implement this strategy and ensure efficient coordination mechanisms that link outcomes and impacts measurements to the national M&E framework.
We strongly believe that rural and agricultural development needs a strong MoFA with qualified, dedicated and well guided staff. We would like to express the DP’s commitment and support to Ghana’s and the Ministry’s development.