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Participants at agric forum demand coordinated agric policies

Dr Owusu Afriye-Akoto – Minister of Agriculture Dr Owusu Afriye-Akoto  Participants at an agricultural symposium in Accra have called for proper coordination of the programmes and policies in the agriculture sector.

They said due to the multidisciplinary nature of the sector, all stakeholders must coordinate all agricultural and agricultural related activities to avoid poor coordination and implementation of policies.

A panelist, Dr Akosua Darkwah of the Department of Sociology at the University of Ghana, at a policy symposium on March 23, 2017, said there seemed to be different activities going on at different places which made it difficult to have a sense of direction and how to succeed.

Challenges with policy implementation

Most participants at the forum stressed the need to bridge the gap between policies and their implementation in the agricultural sector.

This, they said, would lead to a better transformation in the agricultural sector. An Officer at the Policy, Planning and Budget Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Madam Dorothy Effah, said the issue of funding for the needed investments in the agricultural sector was a challenge.

“Funding is a big issue affecting the performance of the agric sector and subsequently monitoring. For us to move forward, we should invest in our agric and not rely so much on donor partners,” she said.

She said often, implementing policies had become a challenge because policy makers do not come out with policies that farmers on the ground could identify with.

“The mistakes policy makers have been making over the years are that they forget to design policies that would benefit farmers on the ground,” she noted.

In a presentation on, ‘Sustainable Agricultural Intensification; Policy Implications for Agriculture Modernisation Ghana,’ the Head Research at the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Wilhemina Quaye, said agriculture had lot of opportunities but unfortunately, its contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was dwindling, hence the need for value addition and modernisation in the sector.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007, predicts a reduction of 50 per cent in crop yield by 2020 in Africa, and a fall in crop net revenues of 90 per cent by 2100.

Consequently, Dr Quaye said deliberate efforts should be made to ensure that we made good policies and get them down to the targeted stakeholders.

“We can’t leave agric on the shoulders of government and donors alone. Research has revealed that transition towards more sustainable agriculture requires new kinds of knowledge and new ways of learning after which we put in to practice to ensure that resources are maintained for generations unborn,” she said.

Source: Graphic online.com

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