The Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) has been launched in Wa, with the aim of creating an enabling environment for investment in agriculture infrastructure in the north western part of Ghana.
MOAP which is a 160 million Euros project is co-financed by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and the German Government.
It is being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) with support from the German International Co-operation (GIZ).
Dr Nurah Gyiele, a Minister of State at MoFA who launched the programme in Wa on Friday noted that the allocation of such resources to agricultural development in the savannah agro-ecological zone six was significant and in line with Government’s efforts to bridge the development gap between the north and the south.
He said there was no doubt among development actors at the global, regional and national levels that the agriculture sectors of developing economies like Ghana needed to be transformed to trigger the socio-economic development of these nations.
Dr Gyiele said it was also important to note that 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that all nations signed unto in 2015 had direct relation to agriculture.
He pointed out however that they could not achieve these SDGs and the ambitious targets of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods, if they did not intensify their efforts to develop agriculture.
“We cannot guarantee speedy agricultural transformation if yields of many crops grown in Ghana are still below 50 per cent of their potential; if less than 20 per cent of farmers are using improved planting material and if fertilizer uptake has only increased from 8kg/ha to 20kg/ha in the last eight years”, he emphasized.
He added that the lack of quality standards of the country’s agricultural produce was limiting agricultural trade and access to international markets.
Dr Gyiele noted that government’s commitment to respond to the call for action from the global and continental level was seen in its programmes such as the “Planting for Food and Jobs” and other interventions it intended to roll out next year.
He said the project would start with the implementation of component two of the project, which according to him was the core, based on the fact that it was intended to build the capacity of the assemblies and all actors that would participate in the agricultural value chains in order for them to do things differently to bring about increased productivity and incomes.
GIZ has been delegated by the EU to implement components two and three of the project while the infrastructure component would be jointly implemented by the World Bank and the Agence Francaise Development (DFD).
The programme will be implemented across all 11 districts of the Upper West Region and three adjoining districts and Sawla/Tuna/Kalba, North Gonja and Mamprugu Moagduri in the Northern Region.
The value chains selected for improvement include groundnuts, soya, rice, sorghum, vegetables, cashew and Mango.