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Showing posts with label Ghana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ghana. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Africa food bank conference underscores regional growth strategies - NaijaAgroNet

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The second Africa Food Bank Conference ended in the city of Accra, Ghana under the auspeces of Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) in partnership with Ghanaian, Food for All Africa (FFAA), underscoring need for regional growth strategies, reports NaijaAgroNet.
Africa food bank conference underscores regional growth strategies - NaijaAgroNet
Food banks from across Africa gathered in Accra to discuss common opportunities and challenges and to learn from the experience and expertise of peers.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Ghana plans ban on rice importation by 2022 - NaijaAgroNet

The Republic of Ghana has set a three-year target for the country to put a stop to rice importation, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This was disclosed by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Kennedy Nyarko Osei.

Osei said Ghana was working round the clock to stop the importation of rice into the county based on recent projections.

The Deputy Minister revealed this in an interview with Kwame Tutu on “Anopa Nkomo” on Accra-based Kingdom FM 107.7.

Osei, whose position was published on the website of Kingdom FM 107.7, said: “We import billion dollars of rice into the country, but the Agric Ministry, led by Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, is determined that by the end of 2022 we will stop importing rice from other countries based on our projections.

“The two crops we are focusing on are rice and soya; soya because of the poultry industry and rice because of import substitution.”

It will be recalled that Ghana recently put pressure on Nigeria to open its borders for goods from other countries.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria had ordered the closure of Nigeria’s borders to stem the importation of goods with local substitutes, especially rice.

Reports had it that the Republic of Benin, which does not consume parboiled rice, is the perhaps the largest importer of the rice type through its ports.

The border closure came after years of ban by the Central Bank of Nigeria of access to foreign exchange by importers of 43 prohibited products.

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, retired Colonel Hameed Ali, said within one week of the closure of Nigeria’s borders, over 500,000 bags of locally manufactured rice that had been lying in warehouses of the producers were sold.

According to available information, rice constitutes 82 per cent Ghana’s import, accounting for $1 billion.

The amount was at almost 2 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product, according to Ghana’s Deputy Trades Minister, Robert Ahomka Lindsay.

Osei told Kingdom FM 107.7 further: “Changing the structure of our economy through diversification and value addition will not happen overnight.

“It remains a major pre-occupation of the government because it is our pathway to reduce dependency, expand the economy, create jobs, increase exports, reduce imports and support the value of our currency.”

It would be recalled that Afriyie-Akoto had told the West African nation of plans to cut food importation through a flagship programme: Planting for Food and Jobs.

The programme is expected to provide farmers fertilizers at low rates to help boost local yield.

The subsidised rate, which is 50 per cent, is catered for by the Government as an incentive to smallholder farmers.

So far, farmers who used to produce three bags of rice per acre in the past, now produce 10 bags.

The ripple effect has led to the creation of more jobs as the need for hired hands in the harvesting and processing of farm produce has spiked.

Jobs created as at 2017 stood at 745,000, which is now improving to 900,000, according to the Minister of Agriculture.

In addition to this, a spinoff of the programme, tagged: “Rearing for food and jobs,” is set to begin.

Isaac John/Editor

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ghana to observe 2019 International School Meals Day with national campaign - NaijaAgroNet

The International School Meals Day on 14th March is a unique global campaign with the aim of raising awareness of good nutrition for all children regardless of their circumstances, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Since its launch in 2013, it has brought together teachers and students, policy makers, school cooks, chefs, food and nutrition professionals, schools and communities, charities, businesses and health professionals from around the world to talk about the importance of school meals and its impact on wellbeing and education.

The theme for 2019 is ‘Who makes my meal?’, encouraging young people to think about their favourite food; where it comes from and who provides it.

As ever, we’re looking forward to bringing together children and communities across Ghana sharing their experiences, stories and news.

Ghana for the first time will observe the day with a national campaign across schools in the country and a school feeding program at the Ashiedu Keteke School in Agbogbloshie.

The campaign will see schools share pictures of the foods they eat during lunch and the cooks or caterers who prepare them. Some selected international schools will fundraise to support the production of a national school meals recipes guide and the building of ten school kitchens for vulnerable schools across the country.

The School Feeding program on the day will have members of Chef with Purpose and partners cooking lunch and sharing to lower primary school children in Ashiedu Keteke district.

On 22nd March, 2019, there would be a forum to climax the celebration and reward schools and partners that participated in ensuring the success of the 2019 International School Meals Day. The funds raised will be used to designing a national schools meal recipe guide for schools and also build ten school kitchens across the country.

The 2019 International School Meals Day is organized by Food for All Africa in partnership with Chefs With Purpose,Ghana Education Service and the Department of social welfare.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Ghana to host first Autism Talent Show

Twellium Foundation, manufacturers of Verna Mineral water, Afi Antonio Foundation and Autism Society of Ghana to host Ghana’s first autism talent show on Saturday,14th April,2018 at the Aviation social centre, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The project which aims to create awareness on autism, erase stereotypes associated with the condition, and challenge the perception that children with autism cannot live their dreams to the fullest. The campaign will showcase different talents of children living with autism, which includes painting on canvas, drawing, dancing, beading, etc
Giving details of the event to the public, Mrs. Afi Antonio-Addo, Executive Director of the foundation revealed the theme for this year’s world Autism day which fell on 2nd April is “Empowering Women and Girls with Autism" a theme that is in line with Verna and its stakeholder’s vision of touching lives of women and girls in Ghana.
For this purpose, Twellium Industrial Company Limited through Verna Changing Lives Campaign has for the past year been creating awareness about Autism by engaging 3 beautiful girls living with autism, who have dreams of becoming models.
On the day of the event, the public is invited to witness the kids taking part in activities such as painting on canvas, beading, modeling, drawing etc.

Arts and crafts produced by the children during this event will be sold to invited guest and money raised will be  used to purchase equipment and tools to support selected Autism Training Centres in the country that admit and support these children.
Isaac Oyimah/ED, Op
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Miss Ghana UK 2017 to hang out with tertiary students

Food for All Africa in partnership with Miss Ghana UK Foundation and Psychosocial Africa would next month, April bring together tertiary students within Accra to hang out with the current Queen, Miss Sabina Lawabea Awuni, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The hangout, NaijaAgroNet gathered would culminate in a social event aimed at promoting mental health and nutritional well-being among tertiary students in Ghana.
NaijaAgroNet also gathered from Food for All Africa that for every case of suicide reported, five people have already contemplated committing suicide, making a total of about 200,000 people contemplating the idea annually.
Sabina said that on the use of social get together as a means to suicide prevention as such programmes tend to give people listening ears.
According to a 2012 survey conducted by the Network for Anti-suicide and Crisis Prevention in Ghana, five or more people commit suicide every day in the country. 
The dominant cause of their death ranged from problems with parents, failure at school, inability of parents to provide needs, impotence and relationship related issues. 
Former Chief Psychiatrist of the Accra Mental Hospital, Dr Akwesi Osei reiterates that suicide is premeditated. It is not something one does the first time he or she thinks about it.
“There are three organizational stages of suicide, involving “getting used to,” the idea, the means and the opportunity or motivation,” he said.
He described the first stage as the preparation state where a person prepares to commit suicide. People who are naturally secretive, who come from broken homes, people with no loving childhood and people with traumatic stress disorders are susceptible.
The second, he said were the precipitate factors that triggered one to commit suicide. Some of the triggers were financial crisis, loss of a loved one and separation.
The final stage was when victims remained in a perpetual state of the desire to kill him or herself, and with the triggers including the lack of financial support, among others.
Hang Out with Miss Ghana UK 2017, The Jubilee Queen on Saturday 7th April 2018 at Tuo Restaurant and garden on Ring road Central will be an experience sharing session with the Queen, Sabina Awuni, mental health advocate, Nana Abena Korkor Addo  and Chef Elijah Addo in promoting mental health and nutritional wellness among tertiary students in Ghana through activities such as cooking competition,eating,games,let’s talk and music jams.
The Queen together with SRC executives of participating schools will in the morning cook and serve breakfast to patients of Accra psychiatric hospital.

Uj. N. Dominic/ED, Ops
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Monday, July 24, 2017

Ghana to host West Africa Agrofood

The city of Accra, capital of Ghana, is warming up to host the 2017 West Africa Agrofood show billed for December this year, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The German trade fair specialists, FairTrade disclosed this to NaijaAgroNet, noting that the 4th edition of Agrofood & Plastprintpack West Africa slated for 05-07 December 2017 at the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that producers of process and packaging technology obviously see great chances for business in Ghana and the surrounding West African countries, hence they are participating in this event.

Official national pavilions, NaijaAgroNet gathered, have been confirmed by Algeria, Belarus, France and the Netherlands, in addition to leading exhibitors from 10 countries.

According to VDMA German Food Processing and Packaging Association, Ghanaian imports of process and packaging technology increased by 10 per cent in 2016 to 77 million euro whereas West African imports of the same also went up by 10 per cent to 557 million euro.

Also, the association said, Ghanaian imports in the plastics, printing and packaging sector rose sharply last year, as Plastics technology up 4 per cent to 23.4 million euro; Printing and paper technology up 32 per cent to 22.4 million euro; and Packaging technology up 2 per cent to 30.1 million euro.

FairTrade told NaijaAgroNet they were not surprised that producers of process and packaging technology saw the opportunity in Ghana and its surrounding West African countries.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ghana to play host to fertilizer, agribiz conference

The city of Accra is gearing up to host the West Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness conference being organised by CRU Events and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) on 10-12 July at the Movenpick Hotel Accra, reports NaijaAgroNet.

CRU Events CEO Nicola Coslett, informed NaijaAgroNet that this comes at a time when the Ghanaian fertilizer and agribusiness sector is undergoing an incredible boost from the country’s new leadership, making it the perfect moment to explore the region's potential using the conference’s main themes of partnership, investment and innovation.

“The three-day conference and networking event will attract over 250 attendees and feature specialist workshops, keynote presentations, interactive panel discussions, break-out sessions and a site visit to the Nestle Tema factory,” Coslett said.

Chief Agribusiness Officer at AFAP, Pierre Brunache, said the sessions will explore critical issues such as how the cost of fertilizer for West African farmers and how supply chains of agricultural inputs can be improved, how local government and international suppliers of fertilizer can work in partnership to build strong agribusiness.

“The conference will also look into how innovation in areas of finance or communication can be used in West African agribusiness, financing tools to enable fertilizer trade and investment in the agribusiness value chain and how to encourage youth participation and support women in agribusiness,” Brunache said.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Monday, April 17, 2017

National Food Donors Encouragement Bill: Ghana’s shared responsibility to end hunger

Each year about 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted and at the same time about 800 million people do not have access to sufficient and nutritious food (Global FoodBanking Network, 2014). This figure represents roughly one third of food produced for human consumption. Food can be either lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial agricultural production down to final household consumption (FAO, 2011).

The Cost of Hunger in Ghana report by the National Development Planning Commission in 2016 shows that Ghana loses GH¢ 4.6 billion which is equivalent to 6.4 per cent GDP annually to hunger among children and 24% of all child mortality cases in Ghana are associated with under nutrition.

The difference between losses and waste lies in the supply chain stage where food is no longer usable for human consumption. Loss occurs when food does not reach the final consumer due to improper handling, packing and storage. Such foods are not suitable for human consumption and only have a marginal value to be transformed as low cost fertilizers and fuel.

Waste occurs when the product that reached the final marketplace is not consumed due to improper consumer behavior, bad storage practices as well as to the lack of coordination between different stakeholders in the supply chain. Food and Beverage Association of Ghana estimates shows it members loss over GH¢200,000 every month to food waste.

In many cases, fresh products are rejected by large supermarket chains if they do not meet certain quality standards such as shape, size and appearance, regardless of their suitability for human consumption. In addition, many retail chains discard products before their expiring dates claiming that the products either are unsellable or generate negative image to the retailer. 

Consumer’s attitudes and the consumption culture also play their part as they reject food that is in good condition but with “not-so-good” appearance. Foods that have reached households are also wasted because they turn unsuitable for human consumption. Restaurants and hotels are other stakeholders within the food waste menace, because of the large portions served to customers. Since not all the portion is consumed, the rest will end up in the garbage bin.

The role of the local governments in setting up measures and regulations towards food donation is very critical in ensuring reduction of food waste and hunger in society.

The PNDCL 3058 Food and Drugs Act.1992 does not make explicit provision for food donations which has resulted in little contribution towards reducing hunger in Ghana by some stakeholder’s within the food supply chain.The Ghana School Feeding Programme been an initiative of the comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) Pillar 3 which seeks to enhance food security and reduce hunger in line with the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on hunger, poverty and malnutrition had since 2007 been implemented to encourage child enrollment through the provision of  one meal per day. 

Currently the National School Feeding program faces challenges such as expansion and caterers demand for increase of the cost from Gh¢0.80p per child however with a National Food Donors Encouragement Act, private stakeholder businesses in Ghana will donate their excess towards the program.

A lot of initiatives have been launched in Ghana by public, private and civil stakeholders towards improving child under nutrition and hunger in Ghana however little or no attention has been drawn on the role of food recovery and redistribution as a tool towards addressing the problem of hunger and the inefficiencies within our food supply chain.

A study by Food for All Africa programme between 2015-2016 showed that 92% of stakeholders in Ghana’s food supply chain agreed that, with a national regulation  mechanism they would want to donate their excess food to the vulnerable  rather than waiting for it to go waste and dispose off.
Donors often fear that they will be held legally responsible if recipients of donated food become ill, and this fear discourages them from donating. However, with the National Food Donors Encouragement laws that protect food donors from liability.

The National Food Donors Act will protect persons or gleaners making good faith donations of food or grocery products to non‐profit charitable organizations such as orphanages, schools and vulnerable communities are protected. A “gleaner” is someone who harvests donated agricultural crops.
Non‐profit organizations that receive the donated food, and ultimately distribute the donations to those in need are also covered.

Private businesses donating their excess food products or resources towards creating sustainable means of nutrition for the vulnerable in society. Tax incentives must be given to amount donated.
Good faith/CSR donations, made to non‐profit organizations, ultimately going to those in need are protected. 

The donations must be:
1) “Apparently wholesome” food.
(2) “Apparently fit” grocery products.
These items meet the PNDCL 3058 Food and Drugs Act, local labeling and quality standards but may not be readily marketable because of factors like age, appearance, freshness, grade, or size.

Slightly flawed partially complying donations, made in good faith, are also protected if:
(1) The donor informs the non‐profit of the item’s condition;
(2) The non‐profit knows the standards required to make the item conform;
(3) The non‐profit agrees to recondition the item to meet those standards.

These flaws can include broken packaging or missing labels, or items needing washing or trimming before distribution. Acceptance of such items helps use edible food that might otherwise be thrown away due to a technicality.

How are donors protected?
If the donation is made in good faith (honestly and with sincere intentions), the National Food Donors Encouragement Act will exempt those donors from civil or criminal liability which might arise from the donation’s nature, age, packaging or condition. The law will also protect donors of food that is “fit for human consumption,” regardless of compliance with food labeling/ packaging laws and storage/handling by the recipients.

When are donors not protected?
Liability arises if a food donor or recipient organization knows that their actions will harm or are likely to harm the recipient, and consciously acts anyway – i.e., gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Under the Food Donors Encouragement bill, gross negligence is a much higher standard than ordinary negligence. Gross negligence should mean that a donor (or recipient organization) knew when it acted that its conduct was likely to harm someone else, and consciously acted (or failed to act), regardless of that knowledge.

Under the Bill, Intentional misconduct means a donor (or recipient organization) deliberately acted with knowledge that its actions would be harmful to others.

Why donate?
Donation of surplus food connects those in need with edible food that would otherwise be sent to landfills. 3 out of 5 children out of the 90,000 street children in Accra who are out of school run away from orphanages due to lack of regular means of nutrition. These people are part of the city’s population that does not have sufficient access or resources available to obtain and consume enough nutritious food to support a healthy life.

In Ghana,1 out of 4 children goes to bed hungry (UNICEF ,2015)  at a time when 45% of food goes uneaten and much of that contributes to the over 15 million tons of food that ends up rotting in landfills. Connecting hungry people with available food helps combat both of these critical problems.
Donations also create savings for donors by lowering the costs of food disposal and the opportunity for charitable food donation tax deductions.

Why Food for All Ghana Programme?
Food for All Ghana programme makes the surplus food donation process easy, by picking up and transporting food and grocery item donations to the places and programs that need them. This helps valuable programs stretch their limited budgets during a time of decreasing government and foundation funding, keeps edible food out of landfills, and most importantly, helps hungry people have better access to a nutritious meal. Food for All Africa has since 2015 been operating West Africa’s first community food support centre and have created a  forum for stakeholder’s within Ghana’s food supply chain to  work together towards reducing hunger in Ghana and accelerate Ghana’s effort in attaining the UN SDG 2 and 12.

Considering the outcome of research and report from the 1st Food for All Ghana conference held in 2016, the need for a nationwide protection offered by a National Food Donors Encouragement Act, the valuable incentives for reducing hunger and wasting food, and the ease of expanding the National Food feeding program, Food for All Africa programme on 15th June, 2017 will launch a two year’s multi-stakeholder National campaign for the passage of the Food Donors Encouragement Bill.

*Elijah Amoo Addo, Executive Director contributed this from Accra, Ghana

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Pix: Food for all campaign on food donation bill in Ghana.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ghana chefs plan Happi Festival 2016

Ghanaian Chefs have concluded plans to host a weeklong African Chefs United Haapi Festival, reports NaijaAgroNet.

A press statement from the interim committee of the Chefs Association Ghana (CAC) under the auspices of Ghana Tourism Federation and Ghana Tourism Authority invite the public to the  African Chefs United HAAPI  Festival –Ghana 2016,a project that celebrates Africa’s indigenous food, exotic drinks, arts and heritage.

Hospitality All African People Imbizo is an initiative of Chef Citrum Khumalo, founder of African Chefs United and was launched in Johannesburg on 19th September, 2008.

The aim of the festival, NaijaAgroNet is to address some of the critical aspects of African heritage in the way food and beverages.

Also, NaijaAgroNet reports that nutrition and biodiversity will ensure that tourism is positioned as the best in the world.

This programme, NaijaAgroNet further reports would enhance skills development, create network and social cohesion amongst African culinary professionals as well as career guidance to young people.

“The objectives of HAAPI 2016 is to unite Africans, create the African festive atmosphere and improve interaction between African culinary specialists.

HAAPI GHANA 2016 is scheduled to take place officially from Mon. 26th-29th September, 2016.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ghana loses 4.6m Cedis to child undernutrition - Study

The Republic of Ghana has lost some 4.6 billion Cedis (GHC) to child undernutrition says the latest report on the Cost of Hunger in Africa tagged the "Social and Economic Impact of Child Undernutrition on Ghana’s Long-Term Development (COHA)” reports NaijaAgroNet.
It also showed that vast amounts being lost through increased healthcare costs, with additional burdens on the education system and lower productivity by its workforce.
The report also noted that the consequences of stunting which involves low height for age are of particular concern. The study explained that stunting occurs when children miss out on critical nutrients including proteins, vitamins and minerals, while in the womb and in the first two years of life. This is compounded by diseases and poor hygiene practices.
According to People affected by stunting face lifelong consequences starting in childhood such as frequent illness, poor school performance, having to repeat classes or dropping out altogether, and low workplace productivity.
Among other findings, NaijaAgroNet also revealed from the COHA report include that:
•    37 per cent of the adult population in Ghana suffered from stunting as children;
•    24 per cent of all child mortality cases in Ghana are associated with undernutrition;
•    child mortality associated with undernutrition has reduced Ghana’s workforce by 7.3 per cent.
Ghana has made some progress in improving child nutrition over the past two decades, reducing chronic malnutrition or stunting from 23 to 19 percent. However, this study highlights the critical need for further progress. 
Dr. Margaret Agama Nyetei, the African Union Commission’s Head of Health, Nutrition and Population Division, said the issue was vital to the AU’s vision and action plan for the next 50 years, known as Agenda 2063.
 “At the African Union, we believe that the realisation of Agenda 2063 and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be possible without fully harnessing the potential of all sectors of the population and this includes our children,” she said. 
“The goal of eliminating stunting is key to achieving Zero Hunger, Sustainable Development Goal 2,” said Thomas Yanga, Director of the World Food Programme Africa Office. “The losses to the economy can be averted through strategic interventions which ensure adequate nutrition for mothers and young children” she said.
The Director, Social Development Policy Division at the Economic Commission for Africa, Prof. Takyiwaa Manuh, was quoted in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet that stunting is not just a health issue, but needs to be addressed through a multi-sectoral approach and prioritised in all development programmes from community to national level.

“Ensuring a generation free from malnutrition requires significant investments in nutrition strategies and interventions. There is therefore a need for Ghana to forge strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, particularly the private sector and non-state actors, to combat undernutrition holistically,” Prof. Manuh said.
For the World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Margot van der Velden said that in the Northern Region of Ghana, 30 percent of children under five are stunted or chronically malnourished.
“This not only affects their growth but also their educational development and economic potential, and consequently the future of the country,” van der Velden said.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that the COHA report was led by the African Union Commission (AUC), in partnership with African governments, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA); the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA); and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). While studies have so far taken place in Egypt, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Malawi and Rwanda, and are due to be carried out in Chad, Lesotho, Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritania. 

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ghana launches US$113m Agric project

A six-year project worth US$113million, about N22.4bn to promote and scale-up agricultural value chains tagged ‘Ghana Sector Investment Programme’ (GASIP) has been launched in Tamale, Ghana, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The project which is being funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) – a United Nations Food Agency – and implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) is aimed at supporting infrastructure development, technology transfer, conservation farming and research to ensure the production of quality food crops to meet demands of the market.

GASIP, NaijaAgroNet gathered is anticipated to help about 12,000 rural households, especially women and young people to improve their economic activities and livelihoodsand is a great step towards realising Ghana’s medium-term agricultural sector investment (METASIP).

The implementation of GASIP is intended to drive its policy to enhance the economy and was designed differently from past projects wherein supply-driven projects such as roads, irrigation schemes and warehouses were pre-determined at the design stage — which resulted in several “white elephants” because the project designers assumed they knew what the people wanted.

Okoli Vincent/GEE

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Opinion: No option but to innovate for business of agriculture

Of all the challenges that Africa faces, there is one that transcends and embraces all the others: I mean agriculture. Our continent today runs the risk of missing a unique opportunity to develop and offer its youth the jobs it has the obligation to provide if it wants to avoid social implosion.
Agriculture, which employs or provides livelihoods to 60% of the population while contributing 20-30% to Africa’s GDP, is the sector that could by itself enable to save the greatest number of Africans from extreme poverty while giving them their dignity back.
And yet, it typically attracts less than 5% of lending from financial institutions on the continent, leaving farmers and agricultural enterprises starved of the capital they need to operate and grow their businesses.
The scope for growth is all the more important that the situation is highly paradoxical: Africa imports the equivalent of $ 50 billion of food every year. Yet more than half of the arable land unexploited in the world are on the continent!
The 12th CAADP PP taking place in Ghana this week is organised around the theme “Accelerating Implementation of CAADP through Innovative Financing and Renewed Partnership”. The theme reflects the urgency being placed on implementation by the African Union and its members.
To solve the agricultural equation, we must join forces and continue our efforts to define a common agricultural policy. In 2003, in Maputo, we really started to turn the corner in laying the foundations for pan-African agricultural initiatives. The Heads of State and Government of the African Union then decided to devote 10% of their national budgets to agriculture. In 2014, in Malabo, they reiterated their commitment to further increase investment, both public and private, in agriculture.
Innovative financing will be key in unlocking Africa’s Green Revolution. Innovative financing is a means of mobilizing additional resources for investment in agriculture or solving long-running market failures that can unlock private investment. Now we should aim at a growth model that is public-sector enabled, and private sector scaled.
Because of the rural and dispersed nature of agricultural production, where banks and formal financial institutions often lack a presence, mobile technology provides a convenient and low-cost distribution channel to reach farmers and agro-enterprises with electronic payments and information products, as well as savings, credit, and insurance products, among others. It can also help to transfer targeted financial support for small farmers and agribusiness.
Investments in infrastructure will also help drive increased private investment and production in the agriculture sector. Often resulting in public goods that benefit a broad base of economic activity, investments in irrigation, transport and market infrastructure in particular are critical to improving economic returns and productivity in the agriculture sector.
The next step is to put in place a system that ensures the prices and the flow (or storage) of production, combined with a system of variable levies at the external borders of Africa (taxes on imports) protecting productions potential competition from products from outside. This will require innovative financial mechanisms and technologies as well.
A proactive agricultural policy should be common because it requires us to share not only our resources, but also our minds and our wills. It should be common because it cannot be implemented without regional infrastructure, energy and logistics in particular, that will allow our farmers to compete and enter into a process of value creation. We should harness the latest innovations and technologies because Africa has no other option but to leapfrog if it wants to realize its tremendous potential.

*A contribution by Ibrahim Assane Mayaki is CEO of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
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Friday, March 11, 2016

PermSecs reiterate commitment to accelerate agriculture in Africa

The second retreat for the Permanent Secretaries ended in the city of Accra, Ghana with reiteration to accelerate agricultural transformation across the continent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The retreat, NaijaAgroNet also reports was aimed at accelerating the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) to transform agriculture in Africa, assembled over 100 participants including Permanent Secretaries and CAADP Focal persons of Ministries of Agriculture, Rural Development, Livestock and Aquaculture and the Regional Economic Communities. 

Declaring open the expert gathering convened by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the NEPAD Agency in Accra, the Ghanaian Minister for Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed-Munira Limuna noted that even though the agricultural sector is faced with numerous challenges such as low uptake of modern technologies, depleting natural resources especially water and climate change negative impacts, solutions that could be adopted to counter them at national level should be sought and implemented.

In addition, NaijaAgroNet gathered that the retreat provided space for Permanent Secretaries to reflect on several thematic and policy factors, especially on the El Nino and implications on agricultural transformation and food security; Trade and industrialization drive and implications for agriculture; and Land tenure systems and trends and implications for the Malabo commitments.

They also focused on validating the revised Country CAADP Implementation Guidelines.  This includes modalities for monitoring and evaluation, reporting and accountability including operationalisation of the African Union Biennial CAADP Review Cycle.  Country perspectives were also sought on CAADP-Malabo Financing Architecture; technical networks arrangement to mobilise and make accessible expert support arrangements, and; revising the CAADP partnership architecture. 

NEPAD’s Head of Programme Development, Mr. Martin Bwalya told participants that the outcomes of the meeting will clarify the necessary measures needed to achieve the CAADP Malabo Declaration targets for results and impact in agriculture, food security and nutrition.

While the AUC Director for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Dr. Janet Edeme, reiterated one of the critical objectives of meeting as being “The review of progress in implementing CAADP and the guidelines developed to help guide countries in implementation.” 

NaijaAgroNet recalls that permanent secretaries are the primary custodians of government policy and practice.  They are also the overall accounting officers in their government ministries, thus putting their offices and mandates at the centre in driving institutional reforms and overall transformation in national development goals.
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Africa can be world’s breadbasket

Paul Kagame, president, Republic of Rwanda and K Y Amoako, founder, African Center for Economic Transformation, a Ghana-based think tank have concurred that Africa can and should be the world’s breadbasket, NaijaAgroNet reports.
The two leaders took this stand in their contribution to Project Syndicate, an organisation that provides readers with original, engaging, and thought-provoking commentaries by global leaders and thinkers. By offering incisive perspectives from those who are shaping the world’s economics, politics, science, and culture, creating an unrivaled global venue for informed public debate.
They argued that to realise this vision – and to do it in an environmentally sustainable way – its agricultural sector must undergo a genuine transformation that entails higher capital investment, significant crop diversification, and improved linkages to burgeoning urban consumer markets.
Africa, NaijaAgroNet gathered, must start manufacturing more value-added food products for both internal consumption and export, especially to countries like India and China, where demand is growing.
From Europe and North America to East Asia and Latin America, agricultural advances have proved to be key precursors of industrial development and gains in living standards.  Africa has the added benefit of technologies that other regions lacked at this stage of their agricultural development, from cost-competitive off-grid solar power to mechanisms for mapping soil characteristics, regulating water use, and ensuring farmers’ access to accurate price information.
And innovation is already happening. Rwanda, for example, is working to link agriculture support with broader services like electricity and education. And the country’s farming communities are pioneering participatory decision-making structures for agricultural planning and conflict-resolution mechanisms to settle disputes among growers, NaijaAgroNet  learnt.
To bolster agricultural innovation and modernisation, governments must ensure that farmers have secure titles to their land, and thus an incentive to make the needed investments. The challenge lies in the fact that, in many parts of Africa, land is communally owned, with almost everyone in a village having traditional rights to some farming land – a system that has helped to prevent landlessness and destitution in rural areas.
Cyriacus Nnaji/ED,OPs
... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology
 Pix: Paul Kagame and K Y Amoako,

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dons ask ACE, WACCI to address food insecurity in Africa

 Some university lecturers in Ghana have called on Africa Centres of Excellence (ACEs) and West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), to address the problem of food insecurity, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana (UG) in-charge of Research, Innovation and Development, Prof John Gyapong, charged ACEs to help address the problem of food insecurity in West Africa through the training of plant breeders who will develop superior crop varieties of staple crops.

While the Director, WACCI, Professor Eric Yirenkyi  Danquah, on the other hand, said that after a rigorous, transparent and merit-based evaluation, WACCI and ACEs were selected to receive eight million dollars, about N1.59billion each as a project grant from the World Bank and recounted achievements of the centre to include the newly established Vegetable Innovation Laboratory (VIL) as part of efforts to promote vegetable production and food security in Ghana and the sub-region, saying that the VIL thematic areas include genetic improvement; vegetable production and quality control; processing; value chains and socio-economic research; policy research and knowledge management systems

The duo, NaijaAgroNet learnt, were speaking at a forum organized by WACCI of the University of Ghana (UG) for the five World Bank Africa Centres of Excellence (ACEs) in agriculture.

The forum titled, “Workshop for the Agriculture Education Front-runners in West Africa: ACE’s Learning Experience at WACCI” was on: “The march towards food security in Africa.”

Gyapong said the West African sub-region is looking up to the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) to train a critical mass of quality PhD graduates, NaijaAgroNet informs,

The program drew 52 participants, including scientists, researchers, Centre and Management staff from West and Central Africa the purpose of which was to allow the ACEs draw on lessons from the experiences of WACCI and also exchange institutional best practices.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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Pix:Prof John Gyapong,

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ghana scales MDG’S deadline

Ghana has scaled the hurdle of the 2015 deadline set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and World Food Summit (WFS) for countries of the world to bring down the proportion of those living without food by half, reports NaijaAgroNet.  
The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Regional Representative for Africa,Mr Bukar Tijani, said around one person in four persons in Sub-Saharan Africa suffered from undernourishment, down from one in three persons 25 years ago.

This assertion was made recently by Mr.Tijani while speaking at the launch of the first edition of the FAO’s Regional Overview of Food Insecurity in Africa (SOFI) 2015 report, on the theme, “African Food Security Prospects Brighter than Ever” in Accra, Ghana.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the report presented the key undernourished figures for Sub-Saharan Africa and examined the factors driving the progress made in food security in the Africa region.

The documents,
NaijaAgroNet also reports, discussed successful experiences in African countries to institute and sustain policies, which have contributed to improve nutritional and food security.
It was also disclosed that Ghana was able to reach this far, because it has partnered with the private sector and civil society in implementing and reviewing policies and programmes to develop the agriculture sector.
Cyriacus Nnaj/ GEE
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