The Associate Director of the Department of Compact Operations, Agriculture and Rural Economy, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Damiana Astudillo, has lauded efforts by the National Food and Agricultural Show (FAGRO) to create a global and sustainable platform for agriculture in Ghana, citing it as a key ground in empowering farmers, farmer unions and creating investment opportunities.
She said, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCA) set up by the US Government, seeks development that is sustainable and invests in capacities of countries like Ghana, that are proving their commitment to development through good governance, economic freedom and investment in their citizens.
Ms. Astudillo made these remarks during a visit to the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Washington DC, USA by the FAGRO / Farm Channel delegation recently.
The team was led by Ms. Cecelia Erzuah, Director for Finance and Administration of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
In her remarks, Ms. Erzuah commended the MCC for their support so far to the country. She noted that, Ghana is presently at the stage of driving its agriculture to a highly commercial stage through a public – private partnership and as such sees the steps by FAGRO and Farm Channel, a new programme designed to disseminate agricultural information through TV and radio, as key initiatives in achieving this.
She therefore called on the MCC to continuously provide technical and financial assistance to Ghana and these laudable initiatives.
The FAGRO 2011 Planning Committee Chairman, Sulley Adam stated that the 3rd National Food and Agricultural Show will see a major boost and improvement over that of 2010 and is positive of its sustenance as an annual key platform for agricultural growth, trade and investment globally.
He urged MCC and MiDA to continue their financial support, as has been the case since FAGRO’s inception in 2009.
Present at the meeting were Jerry Dutkewych, Director of Diplomatic and External Relations, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Katherine Farley, Senior Director for Agriculture and Land, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Tony Abrampah-Mensah, Project Leader of Farm Channel, Delore Zimmerman, President, Praxis Strategy Group, USA, Torbgor Mensah, FAGRO secretariat, Peter Boateng, Counsellor/Economic Affairs, Ghana Embassy, USA and Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Exhibition Director, FAGRO.
Investment made by MCC through MIDA in raising farmer incomes, increase production and productivity of high value cash and food staple crops has been beneficial and effective by far and presently Ghana stands eligible to develop a proposal for a subsequent compact.
By Edmund Smith-Asante