|World Bank, USAID Support Agriculture|
|Thursday, 21 March 2013 09:24|
The World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are providing a credit of $145 million to support commercial agriculture in the country.The World Bank is providing $100 million, while the USAID is committing $45 million, for the project.
The grant, which is to facilitate the take-off of the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP), seeks to support the identification and development of private commercial agriculture investment opportunities in the country.
The project will provide technical assistance required to support investment, especially in the Accra Plains enclave and under the savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
Interventions such as irrigation infrastructure, rehabilitation and construction of warehouses, agro-processing plants and storage infrastructure are also part of the project.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), is also implementing a $45 million World Bank-funded project to promote public-private partnerships (PPPs) designed to increase infrastructure services levels and quality.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Mr Clement Kofi Humado, made this known in a speech read on his behalf at the third Commercial Farm Africa summit held in Accra last Tuesday.
The two-day summit was on the theme, “Into Africa – Building local markets, improving farm productivity,”
The programme was organised by the Centre for Management Technology (CMT), a Singapore-based international organisation, in partnership with the Private Enterprises Foundation (PEF) and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Participants from Singapore, Malaysia, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria attended the summit, which sought to explore the development of agriculture in the West African sub-region.
Mr Humado said the ministry had created an agribusiness division to collaborate with development partners and agribusiness enterprises to support the commercialisation of agriculture activities.
The Minister said other collaborative efforts with partners for the development of key infrastructure and improvement in smallholder farmers’ engagement were underway.
Mr Humado said the Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Project (RTIMP), the Northern Rural Growth Project (NRCP) and the Outgrower and Value Chain Fund (OVCF) were also being implemented as part of the small-scale farmer mitigation project aimed at improving productivity.
A Director of Hardman and Co, a global agriculture research organisation, Mr Doug Hawkins, said considerable interest in the development of agriculture in the West African sub-region was on the increase, since 12 per cent of arable land was still available here.
He said global food security, which had become a threat to the survival of many countries globally, had necessitated the need to ensure productivity in the sector in the region.
Mr Hawkins was worried that, in spite of the availability of land banks in the sub-region, its small-holder farming was still low, with processing, storage and logistics undeniable missing.