Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture has led a Ghanaian delegation to this year’s TECHAGRO fair in the Czech Republic to learn first hand, best practices and seek collaboration in various areas of the Agric sector to help improve food production and food security.
The question to ask here is are the costs of flights and accommodations for multiple delegation members worth the knowledge and collaboration that the Minister seeks to find? And at whose expense?
This is not the first “trip” investment that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has taken part in.
This past month a delegation was also sent to Brazil through U.S. Government, in partnership with the Government of Brazil and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA). Brazil hosted delegates from 10 African countries from March 26-29 in order for them to hear about the experiences the Americas have had with controlling Fall Armyworm (FAW).
What reports, training or resources do these officials and delegates share with Ghanaian public once they return from an event such as TECHAGRO? Does it actually lead to change in the Agriculture sector here in Ghana? If so, how can we measure this to be certain that the funds that are being spent on such events are more worth-while than the funds going directly into agricultural projects such as Planting for Food and Jobs or new initiatives.
Yes, partnerships and international networking are all part of a growing and booming economy but we must hold our government ministries accountable for their spending of Government funding. We as citizens need to demand tangible results from these “networking events”, especially the ones that are hosted abroad. In forms of reports, trainings or resources discovered because these learnings should be brought back and shared with the large agricultural population in Ghana to benefit us all.
Opinion Piece written by Agricinghana Co-Editor
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