Sunday, April 17, 2016

African agric chief directors confer in Accra



By Edmund Smith-Asante
Dr Janet Edeme (left), interaction with the Chief Director of the Ministry of Africulture, Ing Joseph Boamah (right).

A two-day meeting of chief directors of agriculture ministries in Africa on a Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and agricultural transformation has been held in Accra.

It was a precursor to a major conference of African agricultural technocrats on the development of the agricultural sector to be held in April.

The second of such meetings to be organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency in two years, the two-day event, dubbed: “Permanent Secretaries Retreat”, aimed, among other things, at validating the revised country CAADP implementation guidelines.

The guidelines include modalities for monitoring and evaluation, reporting and accountability which encompass making the AU biennial CAADP review cycle operational.

Other objectives of the retreat were to solicit country views on the CAADP-Malabo financing architecture, technical networks arrangement to mobilise and make accessible expert support arrangements and the revised CAADP partnership architecture.

Rationale
The Head of the Rural Economy Division of the AUC, Dr Janet Edeme, who represented the Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture, AUC, Mrs Rhoda Tumusiime, told the Daily Graphic that the retreat was intended to share with the chief directors the process of how the CAADP-developed national agricultural plans were going to be reviewed to take on board the Malabo targets.

According to the Malabo Declaration, African governments are to invest at least 10 per cent of their budgets in agriculture.

She said the second aim of the meeting was to launch the biennial review process, adding that the Malabo Declaration had requested the AUC to report every two years on the status of implementation of the Malabo targets and that the first report was due by January 2018.

Ghana’s agricultural sector Contrary to the belief by a section of the public that Ghana’s agricultural sector was performing badly, the acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Joseph Kwesi Boamah, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the fact that some manufacturers had to import raw materials from other countries did not mean agriculture was failing.

“There is no Ghanaian who goes to bed hungry. That tells you that agriculture is doing something. What we are failing to understand is that now there is what we call trade, so if you see things coming from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire or anywhere, it is only telling you that the continent is growing, the sub-region is growing and, therefore, we are trading among ourselves. That does not necessarily mean that we are not producing,” he said.

This story was first published by the Daily Graphic on March 15, 2016

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