Ghana Agricultural News Digest – September 19, 2016

Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Media Reports
USAID Donate Items worth GHC 900,000 to Boost Agriculture
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) presented tablets and other information and technology (I.T) equipment worth GHC 900,000 to the statistics, Research and Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). The electronic equipment and software were donated to enhance the collection of agricultural statistics. The I.T equipment and data collection system is expected to minimize human error in agricultural data collection and analysis, as well as improve overall data quality and credibility. In his acceptance speech, the Deputy Minister for crops, Alhaji Yakubu Alhassan said: “It will significantly improve the Ministry’s capacity to undertake field surveys and collect, secure, and analyze data. I cannot overstate the importance of this. Software and equipment is just the first step.

Can the SADA Master Plan Unlock Agric Potential?
The SADA Master Plan was envisaged in 2015 at the authority's maiden SADA Business and Investment Forum in Tamale. There, an international leadership consultant, Dr. Victor Koh, shared his experience on how Singapore was able to use the right planning to transform its economy. In recent years, Ghana has been spending a minimum of US$1.5 billion of its already limited resources to import food annually while some eight million hectares of agriculture-friendly arable lands continue to waste away in the Northern Savanna Ecological Zone (NSEZ). Accounting for 54.5percent of Ghana's landmass, optimal agricultural production in the NSEZ, which covers five administrative regions and is home to 30percent of the population, can produce enough food to feed the entire nation and leave some for export.

Diageo Progresses on 2020 Sustainability and Responsibility Targets – Guinness Ghana makes Strides!
The parent company of Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL), Diageo Plc has launched its annual report which shows progress made in the areas of social investment. The company began a new chapter in its approach to sustainability and responsibility when they launched their 2020 Sustainability and Responsibility targets. The goals aligns with 12 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Building on a long tradition of contributing to society as a company with strong governance and ethics, their new 2020 targets focus on the issues that is central to the business creating a positive role for alcohol in society; building thriving communities, and reducing environmental impact. As part of the work on Sustainable Agriculture Strategy, Diageo aims to source 80% of their agricultural raw materials locally in Africa by 2020. In 2016 Diageo sourced 73% of agricultural materials locally within Africa for use by the African markets, compared to 70% in 2015. Guinness Ghana increased local sourcing to 48% this year and is well on track to deliver 80% local sourcing by the targeted year.

WACCI Receives “AGRA Star Gift” Award
The University of Ghana’s West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) was one of six recipients of the “AGRA Star Gift” awarded to partners that have lived the AGRA dream and exceeded expectations over the last ten years of AGRA’s existence. The award was presented at a special dinner hosted on September 6 in the Kenyan capital as part of activities marking the 2016 Alliance for a Green Revolution Forum (AGRF, 2016) which ends in Nairobi today. Professor Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, Director of WACCI and the Biotechnology Research Centre College of Basic and Applied Sciences of the University of Ghana received the award on behalf of the WACCI team and spoke on the topic: “THE IMPACT OF PhD TRAINING IN PLANT BREEDING IN AFRICA BY WACCI”.

WFP Launches US$15 Million Project to Tackle Malnutrition
The World Food Programmes (WFP) has launched a US$15 million project in support of Ghana’s effort at tackling pervasive problems of malnutrition. This comes against the backdrop of the unacceptably high economic cost to the economy. The nation, according to the Cost of Hunger for Africa (COHA) 2016 report, loses GHȼ4.6 billion, representing 6.4 per cent of the Gross National Product (GDP) due to child undernutrition. Ms. Magdalena Owusu Moshi, WFP’s Deputy Country Director, said the project known as, “Enhanced Nutrition and Value Chain (ENVAC)”, was targeting five regions – Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions. It is estimated to benefit in excess of 77,000 people including children, pregnant and lactating women, smallholder farmers, industrial processors and community level small-scale fortified food processors in five years.

Care International Outdoors Northern Ghana Governance Activity
Care International has launched the Northern Ghana Governance Activity (NGGA) project, aimed at enhancing agriculture in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions. The five-year initiative project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Ghana, is to ensure more responsive governance to improve agricultural development in the country. It is also to ensure and enhance women’s active participation in local governance a well as increasing community dialogue and consensus building to prevent conflict in the three northern regions. According to Mr. Michael Alandu, Chief of Party of Northern Ghana Governance Project, the project would strengthen institutional capacity for effective co-ordination and integration of key actors in decentralised agricultural development.

SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT PROJECT (SFMP) - Vodafone Fishers Club Partnership Forum Workshop Report
SSG Advisors - USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management …, 2016
The Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) aims to assist the Government of Ghana in rebuilding depleted marine fish stocks in Ghana. In this regard, the project is implementing a range of strategic interventions to sustainably manage fish stocks to improve food security in Ghana. Public-private partnerships are a critical element of the SFMP strategy, leveraging private sector resources and expertise to advance sustainable fishing in Ghana. The telecommunication giant Vodafone launched its Farmers’ Club in Ghana in June 2015. The Farmers’ Club is a suite of mobile solutions for smallholder farmers, allowing members to receive content on their mobile phones via SMS and Voice with 1) weather alerts, 2) market prices, 3) nutrition tips, and 4) farming best practices. It also allows members to call other members for free to facilitate sharing of best practices, and it offers a dedicated helpline for farming information.

Agrarian Transformations in Ghana: Exploring Changes at the Level of Gender Relations
T Speijer - Wageningen University…2016
This paper examines the way agriculture has transformed in Ghana and in what way this transformation has reshaped gender relations. This paper is based on literature review. We examine this transformation by looking at the agricultural division of labour and land tenure systems. In what way has the land tenure system changed and how did this affect gender relations? For the crops cassava, yam and cocoa this transformation has been described. We found that gender relations and land tenure systems are dynamic and ambiguous.

* The GSSP News Digest just summarizes news that is reported in the press. Any errors of fact or omission are not IFPRI’s responsibility*