Minister of Food and Agriculture lauds SNV policy development programme

By Iddi
Yire, GNA

Accra, Sept. 30, GNA – Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto,
the Minister of Food and Agriculture, has lauded the SNV Netherlands
Development Organisation’s Voice for Change Partnership Programme for its
contribution to policy development process.

He said the focus of the Voice for Change
Partnership Programme (V4CP), under the Dutch Strategic Partnership, has
prospects, which were beginning to make significant contributions to policy
development process in agriculture, energy, and water, sanitation and hygiene

Dr Akoto said this in a speech read on his
behalf at the weekend during the Learnt Event of the SNV’s Voice for Change
Partnership Programme in Accra.

The V4CP Programme is an evidence-based
advocacy programme being implemented by the SNV in partnership with the
International Food and Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) with funding from the
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The programme focuses on generating evidence
and building the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Renewable
Energy, Food and Nutrition Security and WASH sectors.

Dr Akoto said included in the V4CP programme
were food security and nutrition, access to sustainable energy services and
access to sanitation and hygiene facilities.

He noted that specific to the Ministry of Food
and Agriculture (MoFA), the “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme
was one that exemplified its commitment regarding the themes mentioned above.

He said the “Planting for Food and
Jobs” aims at making the country food secure, improving nutritional status
of the people, reducing post-harvest loses and creating employment.

Dr Akoto assured Ghana’s development partners
of the preparedness of the Government to continue to cooperate with them for
their mutual interests.

“Ghana is going ‘Beyond Aid’ but we
welcome win-win trade relationships that are empowering and sustainable,”
he said.

He said the MoFA looked forward to exploring
collaborations that would explore the agricultural-energy nexus with the view to
increasing productivity and mitigate the impact of climate change.

He said advocacy grounded in evidence made it
easy for the establishment of common grounds among stakeholders adding;
“Let me also use this opportunity to confirm government’s willingness to
collaborate in generating evidence to guide the development and implementation
of policies”.

Mr Ron Strikker, the Dutch Ambassador to
Ghana, urged civil society organisations (CSOs) to support the Special
Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, in his bid to combat corruption in the country.

He said though the Office of the Special
Prosecutor was facing resource constraints, with the support of CSOs it would
be able to deliver on its mandate.

Mr Harm Duiker, the Country Director for SNV
Ghana, said in most of the districts they operated, sanitation and hygiene,
nutrition, post-harvest losses and clean cooking interventions had been
integrated into the medium-term development plans of the metropolitan, municipal
and district assemblies.

“We find it crucial because the first
step to realising service delivery begins with planning and as we continue to
follow up on ensuring that these reflect in their annual plans, we are also
exploring potential funding opportunities to support these districts in
executing their plans,” he stated.

Mr Eric Banye, the Country Programme
Coordinator of SNV, said after almost three years of implementation of the programme,
the Learnt Event would deepen their partnership with relevant stakeholders such
as the Government, departments and agencies, the private sector, the media and
CSOs in the implementation of the 2018 activities under the Dutch Strategic
Alliance Programme.

Nana Kobina Nketsia V, the Paramount Chief of
Essikado Traditional Area, who chaired the function, urged Ghanaians to embrace
change that would lead to socioeconomic development.


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