By Dorothy Boampong:
Developing the agricultural sector has been identified as a responsibility which cannot just be left at the doorstep of a selected few but a collective responsibility. ‘Each and everyone has a role to play to support the agricultural sector,’ this is according to Madam Josephine Ivy Quagrainie of the Policy Planning and Budgetary Directorate of the Ministry Of Food And Agriculture when she addressed the annual conference on ‘Public Validation Of The Annual Progress Report On The New Alliance’ at the Alisa Hotel in Accra.
The event among other issues was aimed at outlining measures to help the agric sector improve.
Explaining the purpose of the gathering to Rite news, madam Quagrainie said that it was to offer the ‘new alliance,’ a body made up of the government together with its developmental partners and the private sector, to review and access its performance over the years. She pointed out that the purpose of the conference was also to offer the alliance the chance to confer on what successes and challenges have been chalked over the past one year.
Explaining what the ‘new alliance’ is, she explained that it is an initiative which involved the government collaborating with its development partners as well as the private sector in order to fast-track the development of the agric sector.
This was to deliberate on what strategies were available to the private sector to invest more in the agric sector. The need for the alliance as madam Quagrainie explained was also to strategize on what steps the government and developmental partners could take to entice the private sector into coming on board to invest in the agric sector.
Key among the commitments was government’s resolve to improve its data services as well as the provision of laws regarding farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizer while it also resolved to improve and help improved investors’ access to lands for agricultural purposes.
According to madam Quagraine, the resolve of the development partners is also to provide financial and technical support in order to enhance the process with the private sector resolving to provide the needed financial investment.
Touching on what successes the alliance has been able to chalk over the four year period, madam Quagrainie asserted that they have been able to institute the fertilizer policy as well as the seed policy. She was also categorical that the seed regulation was also under consideration at the Attorney-General’s Department waiting to be forwarded to parliament.
She was also content that a brochure was already in place to provide clear channels to guide investors.
Madam Quagrainie however conceded that they were still in the process of implementing the Ghana Agricultural Production Survey which is an intervention to be used to improve the country’s data base. She lamented that though it was expected to cover the entire country, it was only available in 60 districts across the country largely due to lack of resources.
Madam Quaygraine was however hopeful that the conference would help make a proper assessment of their performances over the period and provide fruitful strategies for the way forward.