Ghana, US Sign Agreement On Food Security
The governments of the United States of America and the Ghana have signed a Declaration of Partnership at the African Green Revolution Forum hosted in Accra.
The Declaration launches a five-year Feed the Future Country Plan for Ghana that will increase investments in agriculture, build greater resilience, and improve household nutrition.
Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, bringing together investments from 11 U.S. Government agencies to help accelerate Ghana’s journey to self-reliance through agriculture, trade, and policy reforms.
Through the Declaration, the two nations aligned their priorities for investments in food security, trade, and nutrition in Ghana, in the Northern, North East, Upper East, and Upper West regions, and in coastal fishing zones.
The new Country Plan provides a blueprint to accelerate agriculture-led growth.
It also strengthens resilience to better cope with drought and other disasters and supports a well-nourished population, especially women and children.
The plan identifies opportunities to leverage private sector investment, expand research in agricultural technology, and increase economic growth.
“The Declaration of Partnership aligns with the USAID philosophy of assisting partner countries on their respective journeys to self-reliance.
In partnership, we commit to engage the private sector, research and scientific community, and civil society to strengthen the enabling environment to accelerate broad-based, sustainable and inclusive economic growth for a wealthier Ghana,”said U.S. Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan.
The Honorable Deputy Minister of Finance, Charles Adu-Boahen, represented the Government of Ghana at the event and said, “It is our belief that this initiative will reduce hunger, malnutrition and poverty among the Ghanaian people.”
The initial phase of Feed the Future began operating in Ghana in 2010 and has reduced poverty and stunting in northern Ghana.
The 2015 Zone of Influence population-based survey revealed a 12 percent decrease in poverty from 2012 to 2015 and a 17 percent decrease in stunting.
Feed the Future activities spurred private sector investment for maize, rice, and soybeans and grew domestic markets by connecting smallholder farmers to markets.
Farmers improved their incomes through increased access to finance, mobile technology, fertilizer, and certified seeds.
Households benefited from improved nutrition, especially for women of reproductive age and children under five.
The new plan will build on these gains and expand Feed the Future’s focus on private sector agricultural investment and trade to accelerate economic growth.
Following the launch, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted an agricultural and food security research event where a diverse set of partners, including government officials, farmers, other agricultural practitioners, and private sector firms discussed how Ghana is uniquely positioned to scale its successes by incorporating digital innovations, research, and technology into the partners’ agriculture investments.
The discussion topics ranged from investments in host country data systems to cell phone-based applications that can transform pest management, crop production, and resource management.
BY Melvin Tarlue