The Minister of Agriculture Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna has launched the Ghana Agricultural Sensitization Project ( GASIP) in Tamale in the Northern Region.
Financed by the Government of Ghana and the International Fund for Agriculture Development, the $11.29 million project is a six year agricultural value chain programme designed to be private sector-led and demand driven in approach to facilitate and promote agribusiness.
According to the sector minister, “past projects were supply-driven where roads, irrigation schemes and ware-houses were pre-determined at the design stage. Ministry of Agriculture and its agents were given funds on quarterly basis to form Farmer-Based Organization and generally do extension work. The result have been mixed.
This he said resulted in several “white elephant” that is infrastructural facilities not put in the intended use because the projects designers assumed that they knew what each person wanted.
But under the $ 71.60million loan programme from IFAD, “Proposals are going to be called for where various value chain actors will submit what business they do and the type of support required from GASIP. GASIP will then evaluate these proposals to see how these businesses if supported will ultimately increase the income of small farmers especially the rural poor”.
GASIP, with the priority areas of attracting women and the youth, agriculture associated challenges such as access to good roads, scarcity of quality seeds, high cost of fertilizer, inability to access bank loans for agribusiness among others that makes agriculture unattractive to women and the youth will be resolved with the availability of tractors and its accessories.
By Zubaida Ismail|3news.com|Ghana