An initiative aimed at improving the security of land tenure and the livelihoods of rural people has been launched by SNV, a Netherlands development organisation.
The programme is to promote food security and land access for the vulnerable, ensure better investor practices for inclusive business and agro ecology and the adaptation of policies and global frameworks for more sustainable food systems.
Dubbed: “Transformative land investment (TLI) project”, the initiative will also lead to the elimination of the risks involved in agricultural investment, including the displacement of local populations and undermining of existing rights, environmental damage and loss of livelihoods.
At the launch of the project in Accra, the Country Director of SNV Ghana, Anjo van Toorn, said his outfit offered a proven market-based approach in value chain development, financial inclusion, institutional strengthening, private and public sector partnerships, as well as eco-system development and management.
“Our projects promote equal sharing of benefits and also create employment opportunities for young people through gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) lens and opportunities for youth employment and entrepreneurship (OYEE),” he added.
Mr Toorn further said SNV would ensure that smallholder and medium-size farmers were included in value chain development by working with them and the private and the public sectors to jointly develop agricultural investment and service delivery solutions.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Recourses, Samuel Abu Jinapor, in a speech read on his behalf, said the sector had, over the years, become one of the most targeted areas of the economy, especially foreign investment.
“It is important to work together with all other stakeholders to ensure that these investments not only bring financial rewards but also ensure the development of our communities through improvement in livelihoods and food security,” he added.
The minister described the implementation of the project as timely, saying: “Having a project that seeks to support the transformation of how private sector actors approach land-based investment is welcoming news that is worth supporting.”
The Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, James Ebenezer Kobina Dadson, said irresponsible large-scale land investment was detrimental to poverty reduction, secure livelihoods, climate change and food security.
A statement by the Agribusiness Investments Unit of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) described the project as innovative, as it would ensure sustainable food system components and the provision of healthy diets and nutrition.
For her part, the President of the Queen Mothers’ Platform-Ghana, Nana Amponsah Dokua III, commended SNV and its partners for making the transformation of land-based investment a priority.