By Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA
Wa, Mar. 9, GNA – The Northern Ghana CSO Platform on Agriculture has been inaugurated in Wa with a call on members to strengthen their advocacy role to bring improvement in the agriculture sector in the area.
The platform which also included some private actors in agriculture was inaugurated under the Northern Ghana Governance Activity (NGGA) project which seeks to strengthen responsive governance for improved agriculture development in Ghana.
It is a five-year USAID supported intervention which is being implemented across 28 selected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
The project is being implemented by four consortium partners including SEND Ghana, ActionAid Ghana, West Africa Network for Peace-building (WANEP-Ghana) and led by CARE International Ghana.
Speaking during its inauguration, Mr. George Dery, Upper West Regional Manager of ActionAid stressed on the need for civil society and the media to play their roles very well in order to keep government accountability to the people.
He noted that poverty, hunger and suffering would continue to exist in Northern Ghana if agriculture was not revolutionised in the area, adding that the government’s “one village, one dam” and “one district, one factory” policies could help do that if given the needed attention and resources.
Mr. Dery noted that laudable as the policies may sound, if civil society and the media failed to ask the necessary questions that would help put government on its toes as far as the implementation of the policies were concerned.
Mr Daniel Banuoku, Deputy Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) which is the Lead CSO of the platform hinted that lots of funding had been pumped in to support agriculture in Northern Ghana but with no or little results to show.
He said the formation of the platform was therefore in the right direction, explaining that the platform would not only just advocate support but would also ensure that funding coming into the region in the name of agriculture were well utilised to the benefit of the people.
Mr. Kweku Minka Fordjour, Upper West Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) said the challenges of the agriculture sector were enormous, hence, the need for civil society and the private sector to partner government in that direction.
He called for greater civil society and private sector collaboration when government’s “Planting for Food and Jobs policy”, which seeks to improve on rice, maize and soya bean production was rolled out.
Mr. Lord Bekai Pobi, NGGA Upper West Regional Project officer explained that NGGA had a broad objective of creating an enabling environment for CSOs to participate in decentralisation and agriculture development.
He said the idea was to support CSOs and private sector groups to organise and engage better at district and regional levels and to gather evidence for effective policy advocacy.