MMDCEs to be held responsible for MAG failure

Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) will henceforth be held responsible for any infractions on the implementation of the Modernisation of Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme designed to support increased agricultural production in the country.

Furthermore, performance targets under MAG are to be included in the performance contracts of MMDCEs this year, Mr Augustine Collins Ntim, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development has stated.

Speaking at the opening session of a two-day sensitisation workshop on MAG in Kumasi for MMDCEs and other stakeholders in the Ashanti Region, Mr Ntim said the moves formed part of strong fiduciary targets set for MMDCEs to ensure the successful implementation of the programme in their areas.

The other participants included the regional and district directors of agriculture, internal auditors, finance, planning and budget officers of MMDAS.

Designed to cover a period of five years; running from 2017 to 2021, MAG, a 135 million Canadian dollar sponsored programme, sought to improve the production and productivity of the country’s small-scale holder farmers by supporting them with a comprehensive market-oriented approach in addition to strengthening and modernising agricultural extension services delivery at the regional, district and sub-district levels.

The deputy minister, who is in charge of Rural Economic Development and Agriculture, said that after two years of the implementation of MAG, some shortcomings including the misuse of funds arising from weak internal controls, lack of appreciation of its operations by key officers of MMDAs and the late release of funds to the various departments of agriculture for their activities, had been identified.

Those major shortfalls, he explained, necessitated the adoption of fiduciary targets for MMDCEs to help remedy the situation.

“The success of MAG is very crucial to the government and therefore there will be periodic monitoring of its implementation at all levels to ensure that farmers fully benefit from it.” Mr Ntim stated.

Mr Simon Osei Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister commended the Canadian government for its continued support to the government mentioning MAG as the third major assistance coming after the Food and Agricultural Budget Support(FABS) and the Agricultural Sector Development programmes.

He was optimistic that the workshop organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture would help to equip the key actors and stakeholders of MAG to deliver effectively and efficiently.

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