Graphic Business News

MoFA cited for duplication of programmes

By: Emmanuel Bruce
 Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto — Minister of Food and Agriculture
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto — Minister of Food and Agriculture

The Finance Committee in Parliament has cited the Ministry of Food and Agricultural (MoFA) for the duplication of programmes.

The committee observed that some of the programmes that were contained in its Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP) were fairly duplicated in the same ministry's Modernising Agriculture Programme.

As a result, the committee has directed the ministry to undertake an audit of all of its programmes and realign those found to be duplicated under the relevant programme to ensure efficiency.

This was contained in the committee's report on the request for tax waiver on imports amounting to US$1.25 million on goods and equipment to be procured for the implementation of GASIP.

As part of measures to address the numerous challenges in the country's agricultural sector and make the sector attractive again, the government introduced the GASIP in 2015.

The GASIP is a long-term programme which is to be implemented in cycles of three years each.

The focus is on small holder farmers to make them more competitive by increasing their capacity to respond to market demands in terms of quality, price, time and volume thereby contributing to the government's medium-term agricultural sector improvement programme.

Financing agreement
In order to execute the programme, government entered into an agreement with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) in 2015 to co finance the GASIP.

Under this programme, the IFAD is to contribute a total amount of US$ 71.6 million to the entire programme implementation.

The financing agreement covers two cycles, with each cycle made up of three years giving a total of six years of Implementation, starting January, 2015 with an amount US$36.6 million as loan and a grant component of US$10 million.

Components of programme
Components of the programme include the linkage of small holder farmers to agribusinesses to enhance pro-poor growth.

It aims at building relationships between agribusinesses, as well as providing short and long-term financing for the value chain businesses.

Others include rural value chain infrastructure with the aim of leveraging investments in productive infrastructure and facilities for selected value chains and financing essential public infrastructure for the growth and viability of associated value chains.

It also seeks to promote and mainstream climate change resilient approaches in Ghana, particularly in the Northern Regions which will be financed through the Adaptation for Small holder Agricultural Programme (ASAP).

The programme also aims at promoting knowledge management, harmonisation of interventions, approaches and policy harmonisation which covers strengthening the borrower to prepare adequately for credit support in the areas of document preparation, sharing and desermination of information as well as funding the coordination.

Modernising Agriculture Programme
The Modernising Agriculture Programme (MAG) on the other hand is a five year Canadian government initiative which seeks to extend an amount of CAD$ 135 million to MOFA in budgetary support.

The programme involves technical and logistical support to the country’s agricultural sector.

This is to help boost crop and livestock production and also ensure food security and sufficiency as well as provide incentives for higher profits for farmers.

MAG is aimed at having an agricultural sector that contributes to poverty reduction, food security, structural transformations, as well as job creation.

The programme would also support the Planting for Food and Jobs programme in the areas of seed research and development; farmer’s registration for effective targeting; facilitation of linkages within value chains. — GB