By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Sept. 30, GNA - Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, has lauded the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation's Voice for Change Partnership Programme for its contribution to policy development process.
He said the focus of the Voice for Change Partnership Programme (V4CP), under the Dutch Strategic Partnership, has prospects, which were beginning to make significant contributions to policy development process in agriculture, energy, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Dr Akoto said this in a speech read on his behalf at the weekend during the Learnt Event of the SNV's Voice for Change Partnership Programme in Accra.
The V4CP Programme is an evidence-based advocacy programme being implemented by the SNV in partnership with the International Food and Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The programme focuses on generating evidence and building the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Renewable Energy, Food and Nutrition Security and WASH sectors.
Dr Akoto said included in the V4CP programme were food security and nutrition, access to sustainable energy services and access to sanitation and hygiene facilities.
He noted that specific to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), the "Planting for Food and Jobs" programme was one that exemplified its commitment regarding the themes mentioned above.
He said the "Planting for Food and Jobs" aims at making the country food secure, improving nutritional status of the people, reducing post-harvest loses and creating employment.
Dr Akoto assured Ghana's development partners of the preparedness of the Government to continue to cooperate with them for their mutual interests.
"Ghana is going 'Beyond Aid' but we welcome win-win trade relationships that are empowering and sustainable," he said.
He said the MoFA looked forward to exploring collaborations that would explore the agricultural-energy nexus with the view to increasing productivity and mitigate the impact of climate change.
He said advocacy grounded in evidence made it easy for the establishment of common grounds among stakeholders adding; "Let me also use this opportunity to confirm government's willingness to collaborate in generating evidence to guide the development and implementation of policies".
Mr Ron Strikker, the Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, urged civil society organisations (CSOs) to support the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, in his bid to combat corruption in the country.
He said though the Office of the Special Prosecutor was facing resource constraints, with the support of CSOs it would be able to deliver on its mandate.
Mr Harm Duiker, the Country Director for SNV Ghana, said in most of the districts they operated, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, post-harvest losses and clean cooking interventions had been integrated into the medium-term development plans of the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
"We find it crucial because the first step to realising service delivery begins with planning and as we continue to follow up on ensuring that these reflect in their annual plans, we are also exploring potential funding opportunities to support these districts in executing their plans," he stated.
Mr Eric Banye, the Country Programme Coordinator of SNV, said after almost three years of implementation of the programme, the Learnt Event would deepen their partnership with relevant stakeholders such as the Government, departments and agencies, the private sector, the media and CSOs in the implementation of the 2018 activities under the Dutch Strategic Alliance Programme.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V, the Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area, who chaired the function, urged Ghanaians to embrace change that would lead to socioeconomic development.