Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in charge of Rural Economic Development and Agriculture, Collins Ntim, has enumerated government’s medium- to long-term policies on agriculture to the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), José Graziano da Silva.
He did that at the 159th FAO council meeting at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, on 6 June 2018.
Mr Ntim said Ghana, over the years, has initiated a number of pro-poor programmes and interventions aimed at reducing hunger and poverty across the country, and, the first country on the African continent to attain the Millennium Development Goal No. 1 in relation to poverty and hunger, where he said Ghana has reduced the level of its malnourished population from seven million in the early 1990s to less than one million today.
Mr Ntim reiterated the commitment of the Akufo-Addo government to ensure the realisation of Sustainable Development Goal 2, which will help the country chart a sustainable path to ending hunger, food insecurity, and all forms of malnutrition by 2030.
Touching on government’s current policies, Mr Ntim said the Government rolled out the Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development (CPESD) Policy in 2017.
The seven-year CPESD Policy (2017-2024) is aimed at reforming Ghana’s agriculture and industry to improve the rural economy.
This, he said, is expected to put Ghana on the path towards ending all forms of poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
Mr Ntim further revealed that government’s vision is to modernise agriculture, improve production efficiency, achieve food security, and profitability for farmers, which are all aimed at significantly enhancing agricultural productivity.
The basic objective of the policy is to guarantee food self-sufficiency for Ghanaians to be able to feed themselves and wean them off dependence on the importation of foodstuffs that can be grown in the country – hence the mantra, “Ghana Beyond Aid.”
The deputy minister said, “The District Centre for Agriculture Commerce and Technology (DCACT) is another major unit, which has been established in each district to coordinate and harmonise all commercial, entrepreneurial and agricultural initiatives towards achieving viability and sustainability of economic development and job creation at the district level. It will facilitate and coordinate efforts of department of the assembly in the execution of all flagship programme geared towards the elimination of poverty and hunger and serves as the functional secretariat of the District Planning and Coordination Unit (DPCU).”
Mr Ntim held a closed-door meeting with Mr José Graziano da Silva who pledged his total support and commitment to enhance rural economic development through agriculture and further congratulated Mr Ntim for his hard work in the implementation of the planting for export and rural development program (PERD).