Joint sector review meeting on Agriculture opens

The 2014 Joint Sector Review of the Agriculture sector to assess the extent of implementation of work programmes and ascertain progress towards the achievement of expected outputs and outcomes, opened in Accra on Tuesday.

The three- day meeting would also discuss pertinent issues affecting agricultural development with the view of making recommendations for institutional and policy reforms to feed into the medium-term planning and budgeting exercises.

Representatives from research institutions, the private sector, civil society organisations, ministries, department and agencies, policy makers and the development partners are attending the meeting to discuss studies on technology adoption and review presentations on how the value chain could be made to work effectively.

It is being organised by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and development partners on the theme: “Increasing Private Sector Participation in Agricultural Development – The Role of Technology Adoption for Productivity Improvement.”

Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Minister of Food and Agriculture, said the sector had been recording progress for some time now and contributed more than 28 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012.

He expressed the hope that the contribution of the sector to GDP would continue to improve and urged stakeholders to present strategies to move the agriculture sector forward.

The Minister said MOFA had started capturing progress report on the sector annually to present facts and figures to partners to enable them make the necessary preparations and adjustments to enhance the agenda for food security.

He commended the development partners, namely, USAID, giz, SIDA and IFDC for supporting the Ministry to publish the Fertilizer and Seeds Policies and the Agricultural Sector Annual Report 2013.

The three publications were officially launched by the Minister at the meeting.

Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, Deputy Minister of MOFA in charge of Crops, said adoption of technology is the only way to ensure food security on the continent.

He expressed the need for continuous analysis of “our actions and procedures and to find ways of adopting new messages to improve the sector”.

“It is time we listen to research recommendations and advice as well as embrace technology to improve the lots of the sector by increasing production,” he said.

Dr Alhassan said district assemblies would be useful tool to push the new agenda at the district levels and urged them to be committed to the move.

Mr Nayon Bilijo, Minister of Fisheries and Aqua Culture Development, in a speech read on his behalf, said the Ministry was set up in 2013 to regulate illegal, unreported and unregulated activities by fishermen and had since put in measures to curb those activities.

He said so far the Ministry’s taskforce in collaboration with the Marine Police are making headway and had so far seized 39 generators for light fishing and a number of canoes.

At the close of the three- day stakeholders are expected to reach a common view on important achievements in the sector in the preceding year, key remaining implementation challenges, and progress against strategic reform priorities to inform future plans and budgets as well as provide focus for development partners’ support. GNA

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