Mr Fifi Kwetey, Minister of Food and Agriculture on Monday said his sector ministry is seeking co-financing for the Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP) from the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
He said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in consultation with the World Bank is designing a road sector programme that would contribute to the infrastructure component of GASIP, and is still in talks with AfDB which is already financing the Northern Rural Growth Programme.
Mr Kwetey stated this in Rome at the signing ceremony of a $36.6 million loan and $10 million grant agreement between the government represented by Mr Kwetey, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), represented by Mr Michel Mordasini, Vice President of the organisation.
“We also want to thank IFAD for the pre-programme grant of $ 500,000 which has enabled us undertake preparatory activities prior to loan effectiveness and I assure you that we are ready for implementation,” he added.
A statement signed by David Florentin Paqui, IFAD Communications Division, and made available to the Ghana News Agency said the GISAP would link small holder farmers to agribusinesses to enhance growth by helping them access what they need to increase their productivity, competitiveness and incomes.
Mr Michel Mordasini said: “In partnership with Ghana, we are bringing together climate change resilience with smart marketing approaches to strengthen each part of the value chain, which in turn ensures more profits for small farmers.”
“Programmes such as this create a favourable environment for small holder farmers, particularly women and youth, to engage in profitable agriculture businesses,” he added.
GISAP is said to help 12,000 rural households, particularly women and young people, to improve their economic activities and livelihoods, according to the statement.
The programme would initially concentrate on cassava, yam, maize, sorghum, fruits and vegetables and would leverage investments in productive infrastructure and facilities for the selected value chains.
It would also promote modern forms of conservation agriculture and agro-forestry systems to enhance productivity, climate resilience and environmental sustainability of production systems.
“With a total cost of $113million, the programme is co-financed with a $7.6 million contribution from Government, a $1.7 million from participating districts, and a $4.6 million contribution from the beneficiaries,” the statement said.
“It is expected that this investment will leverage additional private investment of at least $17.5 million of agricultural loans from financial institutions over the initial six years of implementation.
“An additional $35 million will be sought from IFAD’s country allocation from 2016 to 2018”, the statement added.