‘5 northern regions need pro-poor social intervention’

A Deputy Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Collins Augustine Ntim, has said government is working around the clock to break poverty in the five northern regions through the implementation of some pro-poor social interventions.

He said the north regions, especially the Upper East and North East have recorded the highest poverty rates, therefore substantial progress should be  made to bridge the development gap between the north and south.

Mr Ntim stated in an interview with journalists at Sandema in the Builsa North District of the Upper East Region, after an inspection of projects executed under the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP), formerly called the Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP).

He noted that there was an unbreakable bond between government and the people of the north, especially the Upper East Region, as 22 per cent of the 80.5 million United States fund had been spent on the Productive Inclusion (PI) and the Labour Intensive Public Works (LIPW) related projects in the region.

Just like the planting for food and jobs, and planting for export which were introduced to aid address the declining growth of the country’s agricultural sector, the minister said, the GPSNP was also rolled out in 80 Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the country to mitigate the shackles of poverty among the rural folk.

He indicated the project was being funded by the World Bank, and mentioned the other components of the project as Livelihood Employment Against Poverty (LEAP), Social Protection System Strengthening, Project Management, Coordination and Capacity Building.

The minister and his entourage started the inspection at the Mamprugu Moagdori District in the North East Region, where he engaged the beneficiaries, focal persons and the district department of agriculture staff on the state in which the project was progressing.

Mr Ntim was conducted through a 10-hectare cashew farm at Kubugu, a village under the Mamprugu Moagdori District, where 1,000 seedlings of cashew were disbursed to select farmers to grow.

According to him, he was impressed with the women beneficiaries at the community who exhibited keen enthusiasm in cashew cultivation, adding “I will encourage you to do more. Those of you who distinguished yourselves would continue to benefit from phase two of the project which is expected to be rolled out in December this year”.

The minister also inspected some dam projects at Kpikpaluk community in the Builsa North District. He lauded the people for constructing a befitting dam without the use of excavators and other heavy equipment.

A resident of Kubugu in the Mamprugu Moagdori District, Ajara Mohammed, who had been trained on rice processing and given start-up capital under the PI component of the project, said she was able to discharge her financial obligations toward her children’s education, thanks to the project.


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