A total of $122,473,575.60 has been disbursed to all Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) beneficiary institutions since 2017, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Mr Robert Patrick Ankobiah has revealed.
It comprised double cabin pickups 4×4 station wagons, motorcycles, uniforms among other logistics and machineries to aid the programme.
These the Chief Director revealed at a two-day zonal training on local economic development and lessons from the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme in Accra yesterday.
The Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) Programme is a five-year $135million initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada with the aim of providing direct funding to the Government of Ghana to improve food security and make the agricultural sector more modern, equitable and sustainable.
Similarly, it sought to implement a comprehensive market-oriented approach to farming and to strengthen and modernise agricultural extension services.
Mr Ankobiah observed that the project covers the entire country at the national, regional and district levels and has benefitted farm households, including many female farmers.
He indicated that the project activities including delivering agricultural extension services and market-oriented training to farm households, with a particular focus on providing information linked to improved cultural practices and the appropriate use of fertilisers, pesticides, tools and machinery were as well implemented.
Minister for Local Government Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), Mr Dan Botwe, in his remarks, stated that the zonal training was timely and necessary because government continued to pursue policies and initiatives at the national, regional, and district levels to create jobs to boost agricultural production and industrial growth.
He opined that government’s objective to create jobs, identified agriculture as the main tool to help in that regard and has introduced several initiatives such as the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ), Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), One-District-One-Factory (1D1F), and many others.
“It is necessary to enhance the capacities of structures of district assemblies to enable them plan and implement interventions through efficient allocation of resources for optimum exploitation of districts’ economic and natural resources,” Mr Botwe noted.
He intimated that even though the central government and the private sector had an important role to play in the process, it was the role of the central government to create an enabling and regulatory environment that supports Local Economic Development (LED).
“Private sector institutions should also contribute financial resource, technology, marketing and supply linkages to support LED,” Mr Botwe added.
The Senior Development Officer at the Canadian High Commission, Ms Candace Holt expressed her excitements after five years of implementation of activities under the MAG programme, which had shown excellent results.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY