The policy on agriculture is encapsulated among various government agencies such as the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the Lands Commission, the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).
The Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) II, 2014-2017, is the fifth in the series of medium-term national development policy frameworks prepared over the past two decades. To ensure continuity in overall national development, the GSGDA II builds on the predecessor framework, GSGDA I (2010-2013), drawing lessons from its successes and challenges to enhance overall development management and the transformation agenda that the programme represents.
The GSGDA 2011 – 2013 sought to improve the wellbeing of Ghana’s poor, most of which reside in rural areas and are dependent on agriculture for their primary livelihoods. Priority sectors for the US$24 billion of proposed investments envisaged in the GSGDA are infrastructure (with 54 percent of planned expenditures, of which 15 percent is oil and gas development), health and education (25 percent) and enhanced competitiveness of the private sector (8 percent). Modernizing agriculture attracts 4 percent of investment.
Ghana’s agriculture sector strategy is known as FASDEP II (2010 – 2015) and is organized around six priority themes. These are:
(1) Food Security and Emergency Preparedness;
(2) Increased Growth in Incomes;
(3) Increased Competitiveness and Enhanced Integration into Domestic and International Markets; (4) Sustainable Management of Land and Environment;
(5) Science and Technology Applied in Food and Agriculture Development; and
(6) Improved Institutional Coordination.
FASDEP’s policy principles include a pro-poor focus, attention to regional balance and gender inclusion (in an effort to promote greater gender equality), and consideration of environmental and social sustainability.
The required investment framework to implement FASDEP II is articulated in the Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) – and constitutes the national agriculture investment plan under the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). The emphasis of these initiatives is placed on enhancing productivity of all operators along commodity value chains as well as providing smallholder farmers with the tools and skills necessary for their commercial transformation and to integrate themselves into value chains.
Other policies also have a major bearing on outcomes in the agriculture sector. Of particular importance is the Second Private Sector Development Strategy (PSDS II). The PSDS II aimed at increasing by 20 percent, in real terms, the income of rural people in general and particularly in the poorer Northern and Central areas through more productive agriculture. The strategy highlights increasing the productivity of agriculture and the efficiency of agricultural value chains by supporting public and private initiatives as a sub-component of one of the five main outputs.
In 2011, Ghana launched the Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) policy with the objective of attracting private sector investments and expertise into the provision and management of socioeconomic infrastructure. This is to create space for private sector participation in the provision of infrastructure and basic services. The policy will enable the country harness private efficiency in assets creation, maintenance and service delivery. The policy also creates opportunity for the private sector to bring in innovation and technical improvements.
The Government of Ghana has identified the most critical challenges facing private-sector agribusiness and has developed strategies and programs to address them. Such programs are currently in place to address the private sector’s concerns regarding (1) the lack of energy, transport, and agricultural infrastructure; (2) poor agronomic practices among farmers; (3) land availability; (4) local access to financing; and (5) complexity of the investment and operating environment. Government responses to these challenges published as blog posts on Agricinghana.
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