The Alliance for Green Revolution Alliance (AGRA), has supported government initiative dubbed: “Planting for Food and Jobs,” saying the programme will create jobs opportunities and increase food production.
Dr Agnes Kalibata, the President of AGRA Kalibata said AGRA was committed to support agricultural projects in the continent to boost food production and his outfit would have a discussion with government to support the agriculture sector in the next five years.
She said this in Accra when she paid a courtesy call on Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture.
Dr Kalibata presented to the Minister AGRAs final draft subsidy model and the strategic plan for implementation of the country’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme for discussions and validation with development partners.
She said the visit was to have a discourse and explore ways of bringing experiences across the continent and facilitate modalities to improve agriculture in the sub- region.“The engagement was about moving skills, knowledge and capacity from different part of the continent for countries to learn from each other, since agriculture is critical to the development of every country,” she said.
She said African farmers have not had the right access to improve fertilizer the right way, saying the draft on the subsidy model intend to support smallholder farmers through subsidised inputs to access to improve yields and increase food production. She explained that the model would create the needed knowledge for farmers to understand the value of using these inputs with the help of extension services to improve upon their operations and earn more revenue.
She expressed AGRA’s desire to continue to build partnerships with government and private sector to create and develop seed systems for farmers in the country. Dr Kalibata said AGRA over the past years had supported Ghana’s agriculture projects especially smallholders farmers to improve on their yields, create more jobs and increase food production.
She noted that AGRA in 2016 announced an $ 867,788 grant to Esoko Ghana for the implementation of MasterCard Foundation project to boost agro input supply for smallholder farmers.The 36-month project is expected to support the deployment of an innovative technology solution called: “Fasiba,” which aimed at helping more than 80,000 smallholder farmers to overcome challenges associated with access to affordable and quality inputs to increase productivity and incomes.
AGRA in collaboration with its partners supported the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement, University of Ghana with a grant of $ 11 million to train plant breeders, at the PhD level, with expertise to improve plant breeding.
Dr Akoto commended AGRA and other development donors for supporting the agricultural programmes and urged other corporate bodies to come on board to support in improving agriculture in the country.
The delegation include Dr Felix Kanayo Nwanze, former Board Member of AGRA, Mr Fadel Ndiame, Head of the West Africa Regional Office of AGRA, Mr Forster Boateng, Ghana Country Lead , AGRA, Professor Jean Jacques Muhinda, Consultant, Prof George Nkansah, Consultant and Mr Felix Deyegbe, Communication Officer, AGRA.