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Ghana government commits to targets of Malabo Declaration – Minister

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Dr Sagre Bambangi, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture says government is fully committed to the targets of the Malabo Declaration and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

He said it was for this reason that government has improved the budgetary allocation of the sector.

Dr Bambangi was speaking at the opening of a two-day Ghana Civil Society Orientation on CAADP and Mutual Accountability Workshop in Accra.

The workshop is on the theme: “Strengthening the Advocacy Moment for Smallholder Agriculture in Africa.”

The Malabo Declaration is an agreement signed by African Head of States in Equatorial Guinea in June 2014, where Head of States commit to end hunger and half poverty through inclusive agricultural growth by 2025. The workshop sponsored by TrustAfrica in collaboration with Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) is to sensitise CSOs on the CAADP objectives, strategies and current activities for the implementation of the Malabo Declaration.

It is also to develop a common understanding among civil society partners on their role in the CAADP process at national, regional and continental levels, to share experiences and review successes and challenges of CSO advocacy for CAADP implementation and to map strategies and role of CSOs for strengthening engagement in CAADP processes working in coalitions.

He said “we are not only increasing budgetary allocation to the sector but, we are making sure the resources get to the farmers.”

He said the challenges of the agriculture sector cuts across others sectors of the economy and called for collaboration to address the issues confronting the sector to increase productivity.

He urged civil society in the agriculture value-chain to strengthen their engagement with government and other stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the sector.

He called on the organisers to extend invitation to Ministries, Agencies and Department in their further engagements, since the challenges of agriculture cuts across.

Madam Bethule Nyamambu, Programme Officer, Agriculture Advocacy, TrustAfrica said they had been working across Africa on a number of issues.

He said they continually work with CSOs to improve their capacity to really engage government to increase investment in agriculture.

Mr Charles Kwowe Nyaaba, the Programmes Officer of PFAG said government was not able to meet the 10 per cent Malabo Declaration target, because of the way the country’s agriculture sector is scattered.

He said it was very difficult for stakeholders to track and monitor resources that has been allocated to the sector.

He said governments needed to commit more resources to the agriculture sector, because there were a lot of gaps, which needed to be filled to complement the growth and development of the sector.

Mr Nyaaba said access to credit was an area no government has committed resources to enable farmers support their farming activities.

He called on government not to only focus on fertilizer and seed subsidy, because production of food crops was a chain of activities.

“Government also needs to invest in pro-harvest lost management, because it does not make sense to invest heavily in farming and not reap after the crop season,” he added.

Source: GNA

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